Wagner PMC suffered heavy losses in the Battle for Bakhmut: ISW explains how this will affect the course of the battle
The Russian private military company Wagner and the regular armed forces of the Russian Federation are likely to have lost a significant amount of manpower in the fighting for the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. This will further deter the aggressor state's offensive on the town.
This is stated in the analytics of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). It is noted that on March 29, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, said that about 6,000 professional militants and 20,000 to 30,000 recruits, mostly convicts, are fighting in the Bakhmut area. While back in December, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby reported that the number of Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine was 50,000, including 10,000 contractors and 40,000 prisoners.
The ISW concluded that the difference between Kirby's figure of 50,000 and Millie's figure of 26-36,000 in the Bakhmut area is the result of losses during the protracted offensive. It is noted that Wagner PMC may lose thousands more recruits in the coming weeks.
In addition, on March 30, Ian Stubbs, Senior Military Adviser to the UK Mission to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), reported that 30,000 Russian military and Wagner troops had been killed or wounded in the Bakhmut area since the fighting for the town began in July 2022. These losses in manpower will continue to deter Russian offensive operations in the Bakhmut area, as well as in the wider theatre, and the significant losses of Wagner mercenaries are likely to threaten the PMC's ability to maintain its influential role among Russian forces fighting in Ukraine.
Recall: On 29 March, speaking to US lawmakers, Milley said that Wagner mercenaries near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast were suffering huge losses inflicted on them by Ukrainian defenders. According to him, the battle for Bakhmut has turned into a "slaughterhouse for the Russians".
The general noted that Ukrainians are fighting very well, having organised an effective zone defence. As a result, the occupiers have not been able to advance in the Bakhmut sector for three weeks.
At the same time, the spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Cherevaty, noted that Wagner mercenaries have lost resources to conduct combat operations in the Bakhmut area and are now forced to ask for support from the regular army of the Russian Federation.
According to him, the Wagner PMC suffers heavy losses every day and is no longer able to conduct offensive operations near Bakhmut on its own.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL:
- On March 29, British intelligence reported that fighting continued in Bakhmut, albeit with less intensity than before. Ukraine's defence forces managed to drive back the Wagner PMC militants from the key road 0506 connecting Chasiv Yar and Khromove;
- military expert Mykhailo Zhyrokhov expressed the opinion that the issue of curtailing the activities of the Wagner PMC in Ukraine will be decided not by its head, Yevhen Prigozhin, but by the President of the occupying country, Russia, Vladimir Putin. The termination of this PMC's activities in Ukraine may be related to an attempt to conceal military failures in the fight for Bakhmut.
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