Kiev (EFE).- Ukrainian soldiers on the Bakhmut front, in the east of the country and currently the epicenter of the fighting with the Russians, feel unprotected in the face of the incessant wave of bombardments and attacks coming from the other side of the front.
For his part, the head of the Russian Wagner mercenary company, businessman Yevgueni Prigozhin, warned that if his troops withdraw from Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, “the entire front will collapse.”
Complaints from Ukrainian soldiers
The Ukrainian outlet The Kyiv Independent has collected testimonies from more than a dozen Ukrainian soldiers in the area who describe the front as “a meat grinder” due to the high number of casualties on both sides.
During their brief visits to the nearby town of Kostiantynivka, Ukrainian infantrymen told The Kyiv Independent that poorly trained and unprepared battalions were thrown onto the front line “to survive as best they could” with little support. of armored vehicles, mortars, artillery, drones and tactical information.
“We didn’t get any support,” says a soldier named Serhiy, who has been fighting on the front lines in Bakhmut, sitting with his friend, also named Serhiy, for a chat in a small cafe in the Kostiantynivka market.
They recounted that Russian artillery, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers can often attack Ukrainian positions for hours or days without Ukrainian heavy weapons being able to stop them.
According to the Ukrainian media, some complained about the lack of coordination and awareness of the situation at the front, and also about the extreme shortage of ammunition and having to use weapons dating back to World War II.
Drones, which are supposed to provide essential reconnaissance information, are also in short supply and are being lost at very high rates in some parts of the battlefield, soldiers told this outlet.
All of this leads to terrible casualties of dead and wounded. “The battalion arrived in mid-December… between all the different platoons we were 500,” says Borys, a military doctor from the Odessa region fighting around Bakhmut. “A month ago, we were literally 150,” he confesses to The Kyiv Independent.
“When you get out into the position, there’s not even a 50/50 chance that you’ll get out of there (alive),” says another soldier. “It’s more like 30/70.”
The President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, has acknowledged the difficult situation his Army is going through in Bakhmut, a strategic stronghold, a communications hub, whose control could allow the Russians to establish a safe corridor in eastern Ukraine to transfer soldiers and weapons.
On this front, on the Russian side, the mercenaries of the private Wagner group, affiliated with Klemlin, are fighting, who have used hundreds of prisoners released by Russia to swell their battalions.
The Wagner boss warns that if they withdraw, the front will collapse
The head of the Russian Wagner mercenary company, businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, warned that if his troops withdraw from Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, “the entire front will collapse.”
“If the Wagner private military company withdraws from Bakhmut, the entire front will collapse,” Prigozhin said in a video posted on YouTube, adding that the collapse could reach “as far as the borders of Russia and, perhaps, beyond.”
He added that the Wagners, on the one hand, “attract the entire Ukrainian Army and do not allow it to concentrate on other sectors of the front.”
“And, on the other, we advance and the rest (the military) are forced to follow us so as not to be portrayed,” said Prigozhin, who is considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Wagner chief indicated that his men have still not received the ammunition promised by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“Regarding the ammunition: on the afternoon of February 22, the documents were signed, on February 23 the shipping orders were issued, but until today not much of the ammunition has been shipped,” he said in a comment. Posted last night on Telegram.
Prigozhin indicated that he is trying to find out the cause of this delay, whether it is “simple bureaucracy or betrayal.”
The Wagners, whose ranks are fighting thousands of inmates, are the main assault force attacking Bakhmut, an important communications hub, linked by highways to Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, the largest cities in the Donetsk region controlled by Ukrainian forces. .
On the other hand, the Russian anti-aircraft defense shot down three missiles in the Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine, the governor, Viacheslav Gladkov, said today.
Russia says Ukraine deploys reinforcements to Zaporizhia to launch offensive
The Ukrainian Armed Forces have reinforced their group in the direction of Zaporizhia, in the southeast of the country, with several thousand soldiers, so that it currently has between 30,000 and 32,000 soldiers on that front, Vladimir Rogov, leader of the “Together with Russia” in this province.
The politician told the official TASS agency that Ukraine is accumulating fighters in the direction of Zaporizhia in order to start active operations in this region partially controlled by Russia and illegally annexed last September by the Kremlin.
According to Rogov, only in the last three days 3,500 soldiers were transferred to the city of Zaporizhia and 12,000 to the border of the Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhia regions.
Destroyed two Russian bases in Melitopol with hundreds of deaths, according to the mayor
Ukrainian military forces also destroyed two Russian military bases in the Ukrainian town of Melitopol and caused hundreds of deaths among the occupying soldiers, the city’s mayor, Ivan Fedorov, reported tonight.
“Two powerful explosions were heard in the northern districts of the city. We have information that two objects, where the ‘Rusists’ were stationed, were destroyed,” the Melitopol mayor said during the national news telethon, according to the local agency Ukrinform.
Russian Defense Minister inspects reconstruction work in Mariupol
For his part, the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, inspected the reconstruction work in Mariupol, a city in the south of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk that last year was the scene of fierce fighting, reported the press office of his portfolio.
“In the city of Mariupol of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the head of Defense inspected buildings already delivered and the progress of work on buildings and facilities under construction,” said Defense, which posted a video with images of the construction on its Telegram channel. Shoigu’s visit to the city.