The Ukrainian military is reinforcing the area in an attempt to prevent the capturing of the town.
The Battle of Bakhmut Flares Up
The Russian forces have been trying to capture Bakhmut for more than seven months.
They are inside the town and have made significant gains to the south and north, threatening the Ukrainian garrison with encirclement.
Over the past few days, the Russian assault against Bakhmut has regained some steam, overcoming the loss of momentum it had suffered in late March.
“Russia has made further gains and has now highly likely advanced into the town centre, and has seized the west bank of the Bakhmutka River. Ukraine’s key 0506 supply route to the west of the town is likely severely threatened,” the British Intelligence assessed in its latest estimate of the war.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has likely strengthened the area with further troops, including the elite VDV airborne forces.
“There is realistic possibility that, locally, Wagner and Russian MoD commanders have paused their ongoing feud and improved co-operation,” the British Intelligence added.
The War Beyond Bakhmut
Beyond Bakhmut, the fighting on the ground continues without, however, any significant shifts in territorial control on either side.
The war has returned to the familiar pattern of static lines, small-scale assaults, and lots of artillery fire. Indeed, both the Ukrainian and Russian forces are using artillery profusely to disrupt and degrade the other side. Artillery continues to be responsible for the most casualties.
There is little maneuvering on the ground right now. But that will change once the Ukrainian forces launch their counteroffensive in the upcoming weeks. The United States and the West are ramping up support to Ukraine to enable the counteroffensive to be as successful as possible.
“As we have said previously, our focus is on supporting the Ukrainians to change the dynamic on the ground. We want to help Ukraine advance and hold its positions in what we expect will be a Ukrainian counteroffensive,” a senior defense official said during a press release on Tuesday.
The Russian forces continue to suffer casualties in Ukraine. The new, slower tempo of the war has significantly reduced the rate of Russian casualties. The Russian military and Wagner Group mercenaries average between 400 to 500 killed or wounded every day.
Overall, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed and wounded approximately 177,110 Russian troops.
Destroyed equipment includes: 306 fighter, attack, bomber, and transport jets, 292 attack and transport helicopters, 3633 tanks, 2722 artillery pieces, 7016 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 533 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 18 boats and cutters, 5,587 vehicles and fuel tanks, 280 anti-aircraft batteries, 2,291 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 304 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 911 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.