In the Ugledarsky sector, units of the Russian Armed Forces, after shelling, attempted to advance to the southern outskirts of the city, the Armed Forces of Ukraine repulsed the attack, writes the telegram channel of propagandist Semyon Pegov WarGonzo. The OSINT project WarMonitor reports on Twitter that assaults are underway in the direction of Ugledar, and artillery duels continue there. In the Donetsk direction, according to WarGonzo, Russian troops are conducting offensive operations near Novomikhailovka and in Maryinka. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the main forces of the Russian Federation are concentrated for offensive operations in the Kupyansk direction, also in the area of Liman, Bakhmut, Avdeevka, Shakhtersky. The number of personnel there is increasing, up to 200 conscripts from the Rostov region have been redeployed to the temporarily occupied territory of the Luhansk region.
To the south-west of Bakhmut, Ukrainian troops launched a counterattack from the town of Chasov Yar in the area of the H-32 highway in the direction of Kleshchievka. Also, PMC Wagner tried to break through to Ivanovsky, Bakhmut himself, PMC fighters are attacking from the south of Ivangrad and north of Podgorodny and Yagodny, Pegov’s channel claims.
Yagodnoye itself, apparently, was captured by Wagner PMC fighters. The Wagner Orchestra Telegram channel published a photo with fighters at the entrance to the village and signed that it was taken at 19:00 on February 25.
The War Mapper project publishes a map reflecting the situation around Bakhmut by 00:00 on February 27th. According to analysts, Russian troops advanced west of Yagodnoye.
Despite the fact that the main supply routes have been cut, Bakhmut is unlikely to be captured in the coming days, analysts from the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) note in their summary. The decrease in the intensity of hostilities is probably due to the "shell hunger". According to CIT, the shortage affected not only Wagner PMC mercenaries, but also regular units.
Military expert Roman Svitan said in a conversation with The Insider that part of the Bakhmutka River is built into a common defense line, which is tied up on the heights in the Chasov Yar area. Artillery is located there, which prevents the Russian group from entering the city, and covers the garrison of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Bakhmut with a dome.
“Russian troops will not enter Bakhmut until they cut off the supply routes and the grouping of Chasov Yar, and this is impossible with the forces and means that the Russians have, and with the methods they use. There is no way to get there without equipment and aircraft, and we are destroying them in the Bakhmut area. You won’t get much manpower there, because machine guns and mortars work very well in the field. I do not see any problem for the Bakhmut garrison yet. The same question is in Avdeevka, where there is a tight and good retention binding, the same Marinka, Belogorovka. This is a fortified area, which consists of small lines of defense, and it is impossible to bypass them, except perhaps in a very large arc - first to go to the Dnieper, and then from the west to go to the rear groups. There is simply no other option."
Now the Russian military is trying to attack both from the south of Ivangrad and from the north from Podgorodny and Yagodny. When a decision is made to push back the Russian troops, massive artillery preparation is carried out with the release of Ukrainian special groups, so Russian military personnel cannot take Bakhmut for half a year, and the situation is unlikely to change in the near future, Svitan emphasizes.
Former Defense Minister of the "DPR" Igor Girkin (Strelkov/Runov) also commented on the situation in the Bakhmut area, where heavy fighting continues. According to him, the Wagner PMC is trying to “gnaw through” the defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and take the city, but it was not possible to surround it. Girkin compared the assault on Bakhmut with the assault on the settlement of Peski on the outskirts of Donetsk, on the capture of which the Ministry of Defense reported several times.
“The sands were “extorted” in August - early September for a whole month. At the same time, the enemy was accumulating strength for a counterattack (which, as we now know, ended in a “successful regrouping” from the Kharkov region. The assault on the Bakhmut-Soledar node by the Wagner forces, gradually narrowing “to a point”, has been going on for almost two months. It was supplemented disastrous and very bloody assaults on Avdiivka and Ugledar, which had no other results for the RF Armed Forces than losses. But, I have to remind you once again, even the complete mastery of Bakhmut from a strategic point of view will give absolutely nothing (and here, too, there is a complete analogy with Sands) " .
According to him, as a result, the stocks of ammunition spent on the useless assault on this “mini-Verdun” will be exhausted.
Shortage of fighters since May 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been trying to avoid a "partial" mobilization order by launching campaigns to form volunteer units since the end of May 2022, according to the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Ultimately, Putin abandoned the recruitment campaign after Ukrainian troops liberated most of the Kharkiv region in September and decided to call for mobilization anyway. At the same time, the Russian military command began to experience a significant shortage of manpower as early as May 2022, in mid-May, Russian troops began to withdraw from positions near Kharkov, and, according to ISW, abandoned the offensive in the Izyum-Slavyansk direction in favor of concentrating forces to capture Severodonetsk and Lisichansk.
At first, Putin rejected the military's advice to order a forced call-up of reservists in the spring because of the unpopularity of the move and growing distrust of the Russian Defense Ministry. Instead, he decided to redouble his recruiting efforts, including removing the age limit for contract service. Also, the Kremlin could allow ultra-nationalist groups to expand the campaign to form volunteer forces in the summer of 2022.
Now in the Russian Federation they continue to send en masse those mobilized to the front, even without proper preparation. So, the Irkutsk mobilized from the second battalion of the 1439th regiment are sent to the front line and threatened to be thrown into the assault as expendable material. They recorded another appeal to Putin, in which they complain about the conditions and the lack of training. Soldiers receive threats, for example, with an article about “desertion”. At the same time, the mobilized claim that the evacuation groups of the “DNR” take away only their fighters and only those with minor injuries, and the seriously wounded and killed soldiers are not evacuated, because they are “afraid of losing equipment.”
Mobilized from Serpukhov also recorded a video message in which they told how they were sent without the support of equipment to storm the fortified area of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with one small arms and shovels. As a result, they suffered huge losses, and now they are again going to be sent to storm the same fortified area.
Military expert Roman Svitan told The Insider that the Russian professional army was practically destroyed in a year of war. According to him, this happened because the Russian Federation set itself a task more difficult than it can fulfill, and decided to occupy a country with a population of 40 million with an army of 100-150 thousand.
“This is impossible, this is a military adventure, because in the first year of the war, professionals who had been trained for decades from school were destroyed, and now only the untrained remain. They can be ready only after 10 years - it will be necessary to take people from the school bench and pass them through the school, pilots have been trained for 10 years like this, like many other positions.
Military expert Alexander Kovalenko, in turn, told The Insider that a large expenditure of human resources to achieve tactical goals, to put it mildly, is inappropriate. For example, during the capture of Soledar, Wagner PMCs lost their combat potential and a huge number of personnel, and the unprofessionalism of the command also manifested itself, in this case, Yevgeny Prigozhin. As a result, Prigozhin lost his monopoly on the conduct of hostilities in the Bakhmut region, and on the recruitment of convicts, since convicts are also a resource. Similarly with the mobilized, the human resource in the near future will be considered by the Russian command as the main one for conducting offensive operations, since there is a widespread shortage of equipment, the expert explains.
In the meantime, a volunteer battalion named after Bogdan Khmelnitskyappeared in the "DPR", formed from Ukrainian prisoners of war, according to the propaganda RIA Novosti. One of the commanders of the unit, a former tank commander and senior sergeant of the Ukrainian troops, Andriy Tishchenko, said that now there are about 70 people in the unit, of which 95% are former Ukrainian military with combat experience. According to him, the fighters receive Russian citizenship, a passport, sign a contract and then leave for the camp for further training.
“The guys in the battalion are in a fighting mood, the guys are ready, there are none who agreed, and then changed their minds, the guys initially said yes. And I think that all the guys will go to the end, ”Tishchenko said.
Svitan explained in a conversation with The Insider that the formation of such battalions is a common practice in all armies, certain assault groups are created from prisoners of war. However, no one will launch them anywhere, such a group is assigned a sectoral combat mission and they perform it within the specified sector, for example, they storm a fortified area. The very formulation of such a task is due to the lack of manpower, which is needed for offensives, says Svitan.
“This is one of the main methods of warfare - to wear down the enemy with constant attacks. Sometimes there are up to 10 attacks a day and people simply do not sleep, but this requires a certain amount of manpower. Prisoners are being gathered, women, prisoners can be gathered. Whether they are ready or not, it does not matter, the main thing here is to wear down the enemy.
Such a statement about a battalion of prisoners of war may be an element of Russian propaganda, military expert Alexander Kovalenko believes. According to him, this is due to the fact that Russian prisoners of war in Ukrainian captivity often voice their disappointment in the actions of their command. They tell how they were thrown to the slaughter and treated like live meat. Also, the prisoners reveal a number of other unpleasant moments for the Russian command, for example, the lack of full-fledged logistics and evidence that the slogan “We don’t leave our own!” does not work. Kovalenko notes that the network has a huge amount of photo and video evidence that military personnel are still thrown, and in large numbers, for slaughter.
“In order to neutralize this whole wave of information about the state of affairs in the combat zone, most likely, the narrative about some Ukrainian battalions is used. Of course, even if the PR technologists of the propaganda machine like it, they may even develop this direction to some extent.
Two people were killed in a drone attack on Khmelnitsky, one of them, a rescuer, died in a hospital. Kyiv was also attacked by drones, nine drones were shot down there. Zaporozhye was fired with S-300 rockets, one rocket hit one of the city's infrastructure facilities, the regional administration said.
The evening summary of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine states that in just 24 hours, 8 missile and 28 air strikes were carried out, 12 of them using Iranian Shahed-136 UAVs. There were also more than 55 attacks from the MLRS. Mortars and artillery shelled settlements in the Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv regions.
The Ukrainian Air Force, in turn, delivered four air strikes on the concentration of personnel and military equipment of the Russian Federation.
Shelling continues to be reported in the border regions of the Russian Federation. So. The governor of the Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov, wrote that the village of Stary Khutor, Valuysky district, fell under the shelling of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. No one was hurt, shell fragments smashed windows and cut fences in eight private households. Gladkov added that the power line was damaged.
Later on the evening of February 27, he reported that the wreckage of three unmanned aerial vehicles had been found in Belgorod at once. There is destruction: windows are broken somewhere, cars are damaged somewhere. Gladkov himself, according to him, is in the hospital due to poisoning. He instructed the mayor of Belgorod Valentin Demidov to go to the scene.
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