Russia using in Bakhmut Wagner fighters with Syria, Libya war experience

Russia using in Bakhmut Wagner fighters with Syria, Libya war experience

Russian forces have deployed more experienced fighters from the notorious Wagner Group, hardened in battles on Syrian and Libyan soil, in their assault on Bakhmut, although the Ukrainian forces inflict heavy losses on those units, not allowing the force to besiege the town.

That’s according to Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Eastern Grouping of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, who spoke with CNN, Ukrinform reports.

 “A characteristic feature is that the enemy threw the most prepared Wagner units into the attack,” the spokesman said.

“These units are headed by servicemen who had combat experience in Syria, Libya, and other hot spots," he added.

Read also: War update: Russian troops focus efforts on offensive actions in five directions

Heavy fighting is ongoing along the Bakhmut front, the official noted.

“The enemy launched 209 attacks using cannon artillery, MLRS. There were 57 firefights, and 1 airstrike made by the enemy. There were 85 attacks with all types of artillery in the area of the settlement of Bakhmut only and there were 25 firefights directly near the city," added Cherevatyi.

He stressed that Russian forces are suffering immense casualties and compromising their ability to fight beyond Bakhmut.

“We inflict enormous losses on [our enemy – ed.]. And so, with this heroic struggle, the defenders of the Bakhmut front are bleeding the enemy out, weakening it, preparing a foothold for the reserves that will then come in and throw enemy out of our territory,” said Cherevatyi.

“What we are winning against the enemy now is that we are not allowing it to systematically break through our defense, not allowing it to quickly get to the rear, not allowing it to surround our troops.”

Also, the spokesman for the Eastern Grouping said the Ukrainian command had not made a decision on the withdrawal from Bakhmut.

"If we see that the threat to our personnel and our operational situation is greater than the need to hold this ground, we will do this (withdraw troops - ed.), but we’ll do so in an organized manner, without panic," Cherevatyi said.

He emphasized that the Command assesses the need for such a decision in each specific situation.

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