“Putin’s cook” Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to analysts, fears that the Russian Defense Ministry is fighting for the front-line city to the last “Wagnerite”.
In the battle for Bakhmut, the Wagner PMC could lose its best forces, depriving Russia of some of its most effective and hard-to-replace shock troops. This is stated in the daily analytical report of the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for March 6.
“Wagner attacks have already once forced the Russian Ministry of Defense to involve part of its elite airborne troops in battle. It is quite possible that before taking the city, the RF Armed Forces will be forced to choose between giving up efforts or throwing more high-quality troops into battle. The ability to harm and to deplete the elite elements of the Wagner group, together with other elite units, in the conditions of a defensive war within the city, will significantly contribute in favor of Ukraine,” the report says.
The head of the Wagner PMC fears that his forces are being wasted in this way. On March 5 and 6, Prigozhin made a number of statements indicating that he feared that the Russian Ministry of Defense was fighting the battle for Bakhmut to the last PMC fighter.
Later, Prigozhin published a response to the Zelensky-Zaluzhny-Syrsky meeting on March 6 and stated that Ukraine had formed a number of offensive groups in the Donetsk region to “unblock” the blockade of Bakhmut by Wagner and that it needed ammunition and reinforcements for Wagner. Prigozhin argued that if the “Wagnerites” did not receive the necessary ammunition and reinforcements, the blockade of Bakhmut by the Armed Forces of Ukraine would be broken.
“Serious degradation or destruction of Wagner’s elite combat forces will have positive consequences outside the battlefield,” the Institute’s analysts say.
The plan of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Bakhmut, Donetsk region – to deplete the Armed Forces of Ukraine worked. The Wagnerites have managed to advance into the city center from the east and north as the UAF has retreated west of the Bakhmutka River and are vying for control of two supply routes to Bakhmut.
On March 5, the head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on March 5 that “after Bakhmut” the company would “reboot” and should turn from just a PMC and the “best army in the world” into an “army with an ideology.”
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