Pakmut: Ukraine says counterattacks effective after Wagner chief accuses Russian of defecting

(CNN) – Ukrainian forces say they are conducting “efficient counterattacks”. Bagmuth In part, the comments are consistent with the statements of the head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner Kiev has regained some territory.

Yevgeny Prigozhin on Wednesday accused a Russian brigade of abandoning its position in front-line Pakmut, allowing it to seize Ukrainian territory. He has repeatedly accused the defense ministry of failing to supply his forces with necessary supplies.

Prigozhin also accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of lying, noting that Kiev still needed “a little more time” to launch a much-anticipated counteroffensive. “Zelensky is lying,” Prigozhin said on his official social media channels on Thursday. “The counterattack is in full swing.”

Ukrainian military officials have previously said that the counterattacks around Pakmut, which Prigozhin mentioned, are part of a “positional struggle” and are not related to a larger counteroffensive effort.

Pakmut was the site of a months-long offensive by Russian forces, including Wagner mercenaries, that drove thousands from their homes and devastated the area. But despite Russia committing massive manpower to capture the city, they were unable to take full control and suffered heavy losses in the area on Wednesday.

“Thanks to our well-thought-out defense in the Pakmut sector, we are getting results thanks to the effective actions of our units,” said the Commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Col.-Gen. Oleksandr Chirsky, said Wednesday on Telegram.

“In particular, we are running effective counter-attacks. In some areas of the front, the enemy could not withstand the attack of the Ukrainian defenders and retreated up to 2 kilometers.

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“Despite loud reports of significant troops and Russian war criminals about their intentions to capture Pakmut by May 9, the enemy has failed to capture the Ukrainian city. Our defense forces are holding the front line securely and preventing the enemy from advancing. The battle for Pakmut continues.

He singled out the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, which engaged in an attack on the 72nd Brigade’s positions and “made a powerful attack on the enemy in battle.”

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Prigozhin also noted that Ukrainian forces had advanced south of Pakmut. He Smoked earlier A Russian regiment “fled” from the Bagmud region, allowing the Ukrainians to seize kilometers of territory.

In comments on Tuesday, Prigozhin said, “One of the units of the Ministry of Defense fled from our sides, abandoned their positions. They all fled. [laid] A front nearly 2 kilometers wide and 500 meters deep

“The 72nd Brigade advanced three square kilometers today, and I lost about 500 people because it was a strategic bridgehead. They ran the hell out of there,” Prigozhin said.

He also blamed another private military contractor known as “The Blue Torch”, which he said was “disintegrated like the 72nd Brigade”.

“Instead of fighting, we have maneuvers all the time. We have a ministry of maneuvers instead of a defense ministry. That’s why we have an army running,” Prigozhin added.

Sofia Katilova/Reuters

A Ukrainian service member throws an anti-tank grenade on a front line near Baghmut, Ukraine on May 3, 2023.

The 72nd Brigade (or Separate Motorized Brigade) is part of the Western Military District of the Russian Army.

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As for the desertion of soldiers, Prigozhin said: “It is not the soldiers’ problem. The problem of those who manage them and organize the tasks. The fish rots from the head. A soldier leaves the trenches because he doesn’t need to die [as] Useless. A soldier may die, but a soldier should not die because of the stupidity of his leadership.

The developments represent a dramatic turn of events in an area Gains and losses are usually measured in a few meters.

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