The situation on the Bakhmut front is very difficult because Ukraine constantly sends reinforcements, said the head of Russia’s private paramilitary group Wagner.
“The situation in Bakhmut is difficult, very difficult, the enemy is fighting for every meter of land. The closer we get to the city center, the fiercer the fighting and the more artillery, and tanks are used to fight. against us. The Ukrainians continue to pour endless reinforcements into the battlefield. However, we are moving forward and will continue to move forward,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner corporation, today 12/3 shared on Telegram.
Earlier, on March 11, in a short video posted on Telegram, Mr. Prigozhin announced his forces were near the center of Bakhmut. “This is the city government building, the center of the city, only about 1.2km from here,” Mr Prigozhin said, pointing to a building in the distance.
Boss Wagner further emphasized that the most important thing now is that they have more ammunition from the Russian military to “move forward”. He said that Wagner’s units needed about 10,000 tons of ammunition per month for the battle of Bakhmut. No one in Moscow, he added, needs to be concerned that he is harboring political ambitions.
Wagner’s units have been Russia’s main force on the Bakhmut front in the eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province during months of fighting since last summer. Recently, however, there have been growing signs of an escalation in tensions between Wagner and the Kremlin.
Boss Wagner alleges that the Russian military has cut off ammunition supplies and may have to withdraw from Bakhmut. He warned that the Russian frontline near the town of Bakhmut could collapse if Wagner forces do not receive the ammunition Moscow pledged in February.
“If Wagner withdraws from Bakhmut now, the whole front will collapse. The situation will not be easy for all military formations defending Russian interests,” he stressed.
The spokesman for the eastern Ukrainian military command, Serhii Cherevatyi, said on March 10 that Russia appeared to be sending regular troops to replace Wagner’s units in the third wave of attacks on the city.
Although only a small city in Donetsk, but Bakhmut is currently the fiercest battlefront between Russia and Ukraine. If Bakhmut is controlled, it will be Moscow’s first victory after the winter offensive and a stepping stone for Russia to expand its offensive to other key cities to fully capture eastern Ukraine.
Despite many opinions that Ukraine should withdraw its troops to limit losses and preserve forces for the upcoming counter-offensive, Kiev officials announced that they would continue to stay in the city as long as possible. This plan has two main purposes: to erode resources and to hold Russia back so that Ukraine has more time to gather forces.