The military situation Ukraine/Russia: Bakhmut, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv

Map of war: 17 april 2023 - ISW

A handout still image taken from a handout video made available by the Russian Defence Ministry press-service shows Russian multiple launch rocket systems Grad firing during the joint operational exercise of the armed forces of Belarus and Russia 'Union Courage-2022' in Brest region of Belarus, 17 February 2022. The joint exercises of the military forces 'Union Courage-2022' of Russia and Belarus are held from February 10 to 20. As specified in the Russian Ministry of Defense, the purpose of these exercises is to work out the tasks of 'stopping and repelling external aggression' during a defensive operation, as well as 'countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State.' In Belarus, the holding of joint exercises was called a response to the 'continuing militarization' of European countries. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko allowed the recognition of the independence of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) by Minsk. ANSA/RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

London – From: Institute for the Study of War

The Russian military command appears to be increasingly shifting responsibility for offensive operations in Ukraine to the Russian Airborne (VDV) troops.

News of Teplinsky’s reappointment suggests that the Russian MoD is seeking to work more closely with the Wagner Group in order to complete the capture of Bakhmut, despite obvious tensions between Prigozhin and the traditional MoD establishment.
Russian milbloggers seized on an opportunity to denigrate St. Petersburg Mayor Alexander Beglov in a manner that indicates that Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin’s anti-Beglov campaign has permeated the Russian ultra-nationalist information space.
The Wagner Group returned 130 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) on April 16, suggesting that Wagner may have engaged in the exchange independent of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
The Wagner Group may be attempting to force mobilized Russian personnel to sign contracts with Wagner, possibly in an effort to offset Wagner’s losses in Ukraine.
Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks south of Kreminna.
Russian forces continued ground attacks in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
Russian forces reportedly intensified the rate of artillery strikes in southern Ukraine.
Russian mobilized personnel continue to publish public complaints against Russian commanders alleging mistreatment.
A Russian source stated that the Wagner Group is involved in the removal of Ukrainian children from Bakhmut.

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