Between December 2022 and May 2023, Russian troops managed to capture only a few hundred square kilometers of territory in Ukraine, and Moscow paid a huge price, in dead and wounded, for these limited gains. The US estimates that, during this period, Putin’s forces suffered over 100,000 losses on the battlefield, writes Business Insider, quoted by News.ro. Meanwhile, Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said his men were the strongest fighters, but acknowledged that the Ukrainian army also put up a tough fight, particularly in Bahmut.
The Digi24.ro LiveText that covered the events in Ukraine can be watched HERE.
The Kremlin announces that Russia does not agree to a freeze on the conflict in Ukraine
UPDATE 12:40 p.m Russia shares the position that the Ukrainian conflict should not be frozen, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Wednesday, who, on the other hand, says that it is premature to talk about a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine, as ” there are no premises yet” for this, reports News.ro.
Asked if Russia shares the West’s view of not allowing a freeze on the conflict in Ukraine, the Kremlin spokesman said that “Russia stands in solidarity” with this position.
“Russia is only considering the completion of a special military operation: securing its interests, achieving Russia’s goals, either through a special military operation or through other available means,” Peskov stressed, when asked if Russia was considering, in principle, freezing the conflict.
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New battles in Belgorod. Local governor: “There were several drone attacks”
UPDATE 12:35 p.m The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Viacheslav Gladkov, announced two more incidents on Wednesday, saying on Telegram that a drone strike over the town of Novaya Tavoljanka had failed because the device launched did not explode, and in Terezovka there had been shelling that injured one person and he needed hospitalization, reports The Guardian, quoted by News.ro.
The Russian official’s claims cannot be independently verified.
According to a situation update by Viaceslav Gladkov, nine people remain hospitalized, three of whom are in serious condition, in intensive care, utility services continue to be disrupted, and more than 500 people remain displaced following Monday’s incursion in Belgorod attributed by Moscow to “Ukrainian saboteurs”, while Kiev denies any responsibility and says it is Russian anti-Kremlin nationalists.
Read the continuation HERE
The Russians announce that they are changing the name of the city of Bahmut after the alleged conquest
UPDATE 10:05 The so-called leader of Putin’s self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” on Ukrainian territory says the name of the city of Bahmut, which the Russians say they recently captured, will be changed. The invaders want the city to return to its Soviet-era name, “Artemovsk,” writes CNN.
“Bahmut had the misfortune of being Ukrainian. Now he is no longer Ukrainian, he is Russian. So it’s no longer Bahmut, it’s Artemovsk,” said Denis Pushilin, one of Putin’s puppets in eastern Ukraine. In the video clip in which he makes the statements, Pușilin can be seen walking the streets of the destroyed city. He is dressed in a military uniform, and at one point he sticks the flag of the so-called Donetsk republic on a building.
Read the continuation HERE
Russians conquered only 0.1% of Russian territory between December 2022 and May 2023
UPDATE 9:35 The Russian offensive that began late last year largely petered out a few months into the new year and has resulted in only limited gains, which have come at a high cost to forces fighting the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.
A map published by Business Insider shows how little ground Russian forces have gained in five months, at the cost of 100,000 dead and wounded. In the five-month period between December 2, 2022 and May 2, 2023, Russian forces captured about 870 square kilometers of territory in eastern Ukraine, which is 0.1 percent of the entire country, a Business Insider analysis based on estimates found provided by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in Washington.
Russia has been waging a war in Ukraine for almost 15 months. Intense and brutal fighting along an increasingly static front line has left cities in ruins and led to rising death tolls on both sides, although Russian losses in particular are substantial.
During this period, Russian forces, both regular troops and mercenaries supplemented by prisoners, suffered more than 100,000 casualties, a senior White House official revealed in early May. This staggering toll includes 20,000 soldiers killed and another 80,000 wounded, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. The balance sheet emphasizes that Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s plan was to try to overwhelm Ukraine’s defense forces with masses of poorly trained and dispensable soldiers, sent forward in attacks in human waves.
In November 2022, the head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, estimated that Moscow had suffered more than 100,000 casualties since the February invasion. The latest estimates show that it took Ukraine just five months to inflict as much damage as in previous months and to double the number of casualties among the invading army.
Kirby also noted in early May that half of the Russian soldiers who died were mercenaries and ex-prisoners from the notorious Wagner paramilitary organization, which played a key role in the fight to capture the war-torn city of Bahmut – the most long and bloodiest battle of the Moscow campaign. Kremlin-backed forces – which include Russia’s regular army and Wagner – have spent months making incremental gains in and around Bahmut. On Sunday, these forces claimed to have fully captured the devastated city, although their claimed victory was contested by Ukraine, which instead made some advances along the city’s flanks.
Bahmut is one of two cities that the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine currently assesses as major focal points in the fighting, the other being the Donetsk suburb of Marinka. In an update on Monday on Facebook, the General Staff wrote that Russia is concentrating its main war effort in the areas around these two cities, and other hot spots are near Avdiivka, Lîman and Kupiansk.
Meanwhile, Ukraine is in the final stages of preparations for a long-awaited counteroffensive aimed at liberating occupied territory in the eastern and southern regions. It is not clear when, exactly, the counteroffensive could begin, but military experts say it depends on the integration of heavy Western armor – such as tanks and infantry fighting vehicles – that have been sent by the US and NATO allies.
If this Ukrainian counteroffensive is successful, Kiev could enjoy a reversal of some of the limited gains Russian forces have made in the five months since the beginning of this year. But even with advanced weaponry from Ukraine’s Western partners, there are questions about how much Ukraine can realistically achieve. Some high-ranking Ukrainian officials have warned against overestimating the possibilities of the long-awaited counteroffensive, preferring to be more reserved, notes Business Insider.
Prigojin’s surprising statement. Boss Wagner praises the Ukrainians
The head of Wagner, Evgheni Prigojin, declared that his men are the strongest fighters, but admitted that the Ukrainian army also fought a fierce battle, especially in Bahmut, reports CNN, quoted by News.ro.
“Now I can judge according to my own experience, I know how different countries fight. Today PMC Wagner is the best army in the world, and after it, of course, I have to say that it should be the Russian army to be politically correct, but I think that Ukrainians are one of the strongest armies today from the world,” Prigozhin declared on Tuesday in an interview with Konstantin Dolgov, a pro-Russian blogger.
Over the weekend, the private military group Wagner said it had captured all the territory it had planned and would leave the front line in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, leaving the fighting to the Russian Defense Ministry. But Prigozhin declared on Tuesday that the Ukrainians are “very well organized, very well trained, and their intelligence services are at the highest level, they can operate any military system with the same success, a Soviet one or a NATO one.”
Separately, when asked about the recent cross-border raids in Belgorod, claimed by anti-Putin Russians, Prigozhin said that “groups of the Russian Volunteer Corps are shamelessly entering the Belgorod region” and Russian defense forces are “absolutely not ready to resist them in any form”.
Editor: Bianca Chirilă
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