The situation at the front
PMC Wagner managed to take Paraskovievka , through which the mercenaries want to go to the northern highway to Slavyansk - this is the supply route for Bakhmut . The capture of the settlement was reported by the press service of the founder of PMC Evgeny Prigozhin.
“Despite the blockade of ammunition, despite heavy losses and bloody battles, the guys completely occupied the entire territory of Paraskovievka. Thank them! Heroes! — leads the press service of his words.
The capture of Paraskoviyivka, which was an important tactical hub in the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, significantly improves the position of assault detachments in the north of Bakhmut, Boris Rozhin, an expert at the Center for Military-Political Journalism, notes on the Telegram channel. Clearing the triangle of Krasnaya Gora - Podgorodnoye - Paraskovievka will increase pressure on Berkhovka, where fighting has been going on for the past few days, and gain a foothold in the northern regions of Bakhmut. Control over Berkhovka, as well as the neighboring village of Yagodnoye, may leave the Armed Forces of Ukraine without the northern supply routes, which currently pass through the Berkhovka-Khromovo line. In the future, this will seriously affect the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the defense of Bakhmut.
The blockade on ammunition, which Prigozhin speaks of, is a continuation of the confrontation between PMC Wagner and the Russian Ministry of Defense. The day before, February 16, a video appeared on Telegram channels in which four armed men stated that their unit was “completely cut off from the supply of ammunition.” “We are sure that somewhere in the warehouses there is this ammunition, and we are in dire need of it. A huge number of people will survive and be able to continue to participate in hostilities, ”said one of the fighters in the appeal. According to him, the solution of the issue with the supply of ammunition "will affect the entire course of the war."
Prigozhin called the fighters who wrote down an appeal to the Ministry of Defense with a request to supply ammunition “remarkable” and assured that he himself would go around “all known offices in Moscow” until “the guys get everything they need.”
In January, Prigozhin and the Ministry of Defense argued over the capture of Soledar. Prigozhin stated that the city was taken by the "Wagnerites", the Ministry of Defense claimed that not only they were participating in the battles.
Commenting on the situation, the former "DPR Minister of Defense" Igor Strelkov (Girkin) notes that the purpose of the actions of the Ministry of Defense is to subordinate Prigozhin and his mercenaries to the orders of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
“What the position of the leadership of the RF Ministry of Defense is designed for is nowhere clearer: the goal is the complete subordination of PMC Wagner to the structures of the RF Ministry of Defense, either by reorganization and inclusion directly in the Armed Forces, or (at least) by changing the leadership. “Plywood Marshal does not categorically intend to tolerate impudence (this is exactly how Shoigu perceives Prigozhin’s activities, I’m sure) and competition - it calls into question his status as the “crown prince,” writes Strelkov.
Prigozhin, according to Telegram channels, is actively using media resources in the confrontation. After the appeal of the mercenaries, the appeal of doctors as part of the Wagner PMC appeared on the network. Obviously, it also concerns the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
“Every day we lose hundreds of comrades-in-arms”, “we are not supplied with weapons and ammunition”, “stop messing around”, say the doctors in the appeal.
And a banner is circulating on social networks calling for the resumption of ammunition supplies.
After the Ministry of Defense stopped supplying weapons, the requests of PMC mercenaries to the ministry became much more polite. Back in late December, the military with the Wagner PMC patch published a video, the authenticity of which was later confirmed by Prigozhin, in which they turned to the head of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov with a demand to give them shells, using obscene vocabulary:
“To the Chief of the General Staff: you are a f*ck and a f**k. We have nothing to fight with, we have no shells. There, the guys are dying for us, and we are sitting here, fucking not helping. We need shells, we want to f*ck everyone. We are fighting against the entire Ukrainian army near Bakhmut. Where are you, help us, finally. There is nothing more to call you, bl * d. Except for one word - f * dor.
Also in the Donetsk direction , according to War Gonzo, with the support of artillery of the RF Armed Forces, they launched an attack on Novomikhailovka and Pervomayskoye. The Armed Forces of Ukraine carried out rocket attacks on Donetsk, Mineralny and Enakievo.
In the Luhansk direction , according to these data, Russian troops attacked Belogorovka from the southeast and carried out offensive operations in the Serebryansky forest from Shipilovka. And to the north they attacked at Gryanovka.
The losses of the RF Armed Forces and PMC Wagner in Ukraine since the beginning of the full-scale military invasion are estimated at 175-200 thousand people. This is stated in the new military intelligence report of the British Ministry of Defense dated February 17. This probably includes between 40,000 and 60,000 people killed.
According to the agency, the level of losses of personnel of the Russian troops has increased significantly since the moment when mobilization was announced in Russia by presidential decree. The high level of casualties is associated with the extremely unsatisfactory medical support for most of the personnel. Artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine almost certainly caused the majority of Russian losses. PMC Wagner forces deployed a large number of recruit prisoners. They probably have a loss rate of up to 50%.
Based on open sources, the BBC and Mediazone managed to identify 14,709 Russian soldiers who died in the war in Ukraine. Over the past 14 days, the number of confirmed casualties has been five times the usual weekly figures. This may be a consequence of the offensive that Russia launched in the Donbass.
France has transferred Akeron 5th generation anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine, which are considered to be analogous to Javelin . This was stated by the vice-president of the Commission for National Defense and the Armed Forces of France, Jean-Louis Thierry, quoted by Opexnews.
Akeron MP is a portable anti-tank system installed on armored vehicles with a range of up to 4-5 km.
Embracing Ramzan Kadyrov and shouting “Akhmat is strength,” Lieutenant General Andrei Mordvichev took over as commander of the Central Military District. Before Mordvichev, the district was commanded by Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, who was removed after Kadyrov's harsh criticism of him.
The head of Chechnya, during a meeting with Mordvichev in Mariupol, spoke of him: "the best commander." Kadyrov wrote on Telegram that “Andrei Nikolaevich reported on the significant successes of the fighters in critical areas,” and on the same day he published a video from the meeting.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Kadyrov has openly criticized the generals and the command, while not questioning the actions of President Vladimir Putin; in his opinion, it is the generals who are to blame for the failures at the front.
Death of the leader of the "Primorsky Partisans"
One of the leaders of the Primorsky Partisans, Alexander Kovtun, who received 25 years in prison for attacks on policemen and was recruited into the Wagner PMC, died in the war in Ukraine. The authorities of the region and the mercenaries do not comment on this information. Alexander Kovtun was one of the leaders of the Primorsky Partisans, a group that operated in 2009-2010. A group of young people who attacked and killed law enforcement officers declared their goal to be the fight against police arbitrariness.
As activist and political prisoner Ivan Astashin told The Insider, shortly before his death, Kovtun feared he would be killed in connection with an attack on law enforcement officers. According to Kovtun, which was transmitted by Astashin, PMC Wagner is shot at the front of Muslims who are imprisoned under Article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - “Terrorist act”. Kovtun converted to Islam. He opposed the war.
Read also The Insider’s summary of the main events of the war on February 15: “ The Armed Forces of Ukraine are waiting for weapons for the counteroffensive, there are fights for every house in Bakhmut, the Russian Federation launched a new missile attack. What's going on at the front ."