The Wagner Group proposes to stop the offensive in Ukraine and focus on defending the already occupied territories

And through a “programme” statement issued yesterday, Friday, by his press service, the head of the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group said, Evgeny Prigozhin, urging an “end point” to the so-called Special Military Operation in Ukraine (SVO in its Russian acronym), the term with which President Vladimir Putin deliberately invaded the neighboring country. In his opinion, the “ideal option” would be to announce the end of the process.

“For the authorities and for society as a whole, today it is necessary to put some kind of end point” to the attack. As he put it, “The ideal would be to announce the end of special emergency operations operations, to inform everyone that Russia has achieved the goals it planned and, in a sense, we have achieved them (…) the male population of Ukraine was exterminated and another party was intimidated, so it fled To him to Europe He says in his article: “Russia cut off their access to the Sea of ​​Azov and a large part of the Black Sea, seized part of the Ukrainian lands and established a land corridor to the Crimea.”

The businessman close to Putin believes that the important thing now is to “keep the occupied territories to death, to preserve them with their teeth and nails,” referring to Luhansk And to the sectors controlled by the Russian forces Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhiawhich was annexed by Moscow last year, as well as Crimea, which was incorporated into Russia in March 2014.

Prigozhin warns that if the military special operation is not terminated, “the Armed Forces of Ukraine will carry out a counterattack (…) one of the results of which may be that they managed to penetrate the Russian defenses somewhere”. The Wagner leader also warned against any agreement with Kiev that would include the return of lands, because, in his opinion, it would “launch the mechanism of centrifugal forces in the Russian regions,” indicating that this would be the beginning of disintegration. from the Russian Federation.

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“Russia cannot accept any agreement (…) and if we come out of it in ruins, then there is no reason to worry. The fortified regions of Russia make it impossible to penetrate its depths,” says Prigozhin, who asserts that “the Ukrainian army is either defeated or Russia will lick its wounds, gain muscle and destroy its competitors again.” In short, he estimates that “Ukraine’s victory will make Russia start to retreat and will lead to profound changes in Russian society.

For his part, a spokesman for the Central Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (GUR) said, Andrey YusovThis week, he indicated that the Russian authorities would now agree to a “tie”. According to Yusov, “Russian elites have long lost confidence in victory over Ukraine, but they hope for a draw, which is a dead end situation that allows them to preserve certain interests,” apparently referring to the regions of Ukraine currently under Russia’s control. works.

The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) believes that Russian forces have exhausted their offensive potential by “losing the ability to conduct multiple offensive operations simultaneously.” Pentagon analysts point to the recent transfer of Russian units from Avdiivka to the Bakhmut region as an example. “They had to choose between taking one city or the other,” says the ISW.

They chose Bakhmut and, according to British military intelligence, made some progress. Yesterday, the British Ministry of Defense said, on its Twitter account, that “Russia has injected new energy into its attack on the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Governorate, after the forces of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Wagner Group improved their cooperation.” .

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United States military intelligence confirmed that “the assault groups of the Wagner Group continue to make the largest advance in the city center, while the airborne forces of Wagner’s mercenaries deployed on the northern and southern sides of Bakhmut supported the city.” kingdom. He adds that “the Ukrainian defenses still control the western neighborhoods of the city, but they were exposed to heavy artillery fire (…) facing major supply problems, but they carried out organized withdrawals from the positions they were forced to give up.”

Control of 80% of Bakhmut

On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that its forces, which claim control of 80% of Bakhmut, have already surrounded the Ukrainian army there, which was denied by Prigozhin himself and the Ukrainian army. The spokesman for the Group of Ukrainian Forces in the East of the country, Sergoi Sherevaty, said that the Kiev army still had “the possibility of receiving food, ammunition and medicine from the rear, as well as evacuating the wounded.” Prigozhin announced on his Telegram account: “It is still too early to talk about the complete encirclement of Bakhmut, the Ukrainian forces still have room for maneuver.”

On the other hand, it was reported today that the temporary balance of the Russian missile attack at noon yesterday on the town of Sloviansk, located in the Donetsk region, fifty kilometers northwest of Bakhmut, has already risen to nine dead and 21 wounded, according to data from the head of the local military administration, Vadim Lea, who confirmed that the last lifeless body recovered from the rubble corresponded to that of a woman.

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Among the dead was a two-year-old boy who was found alive but died in the ambulance. The number of deaths could rise, as the tenants of three completely collapsed flats are still buried, apparently five people have already been identified. Clearing business continues, according to Leage. The apartment building with the largest number of victims is five stories high. Yesterday, it was hit by one of the seven missiles launched by the S-300 shuttle, according to the Ukrainian agency Onyan. Other buildings, homes and a school were also damaged. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack, stressing that “we will not leave a single trace of Russia on our land and that the enemy’s crimes will not go unpunished.”

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