Ukraine is planning a counter-offensive in several directions in April-May, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in an interview with the Estonian channel ERR. According to him, the timing depends on the weather and the decision of the General Staff. In early spring, the ground is very wet, only tracked vehicles can be used, so, according to Reznikov, a counteroffensive should be expected in April-May. Then Leopard 2 tanks should appear on the battlefield.
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported in its report that over the past week, Russian troops have taken control of another five percent of the territory of Bakhmut (about two square kilometers), and now occupy 65% of the city. ISW also writes that Wagner PMC fighters have moved into the center of Bakhmut, judging by the geolocated videos and photos, they are already in the market area and the Palace of Culture, located next to the City Council building. City photos with PMC fighters have been published on the network.
In the northwest, the Wagnerites completely took the territory of the Artemovsky non-ferrous metal processing plant (AZOM) and advanced to the south of the industrial zone, ISW analysts say. On March 26, Russian media announced that Wagner PMCs had established full control over the AZOM enterprise. The fighters told RIA Novosti that there were several bomb shelters in his workshops, where the Ukrainian military could wait out artillery shelling and air strikes. The British Ministry of Defense, with reference to its intelligence , refutes the capture of AZOM by the Wagnerites. According to British intelligence, the area remains contentious, as it has been for the past two weeks. Also, British intelligence notes that battles continue for Bakhmut, although less intense.
Military expert Alexander Kovalenko, in a conversation with The Insider, noted that hostilities continue in the area of the industrial zone, PMC Wagner actually entered there from the north. According to him, this territory is only under partial control of PMCs, but the industrial zone is much longer, so in this case, PMCs are ahead of the events with their statements.
The British Defense Ministry report also reports that Ukrainian troops pushed back the Wagner PMC group from the 0506 route from Chasovoy Yar through Khromovo. The Wagnerites were only hundreds of meters away from her, but the Ukrainian military pushed them back, which has become one of the key achievements of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in recent years, analysts write. This road is one of the important supply routes for the Ukrainian military.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the situation in Bakhmut, saying in an interview with The Associated Press that if the city is captured, Russian President Vladimir Putin will "sell this victory" to his society, Western countries, as well as China and Iran.
Journalists from Reuters, Associated Press and Voice of America published a video with APU fighters who are now defending Bakhmut from Russian attacks.
Military expert Alexander Kovalenko told The Insider that the difference between the ISW and British military intelligence data is due to the fact that there is now a “swing” in Bakhmut - there is no stable situation, and the same position can change hands several times per hour. Previously, only Wagner PMC mercenaries participated in urban battles in Bakhmut, but now units of the 51st and 137th parachute regiments from the 106th airborne division and units of the 98th airborne division, which was a reserve all this time, the expert said. According to him, this suggests that the "landing" is increasingly involved in urban battles due to the lack of resources of Wagner PMCs, and the large losses of mercenaries cannot be compensated in a short time.
“The main part, which is occupied by PMC Wagner and Russian occupation units, is along Geroev Truda Street in the north, where there is an industrial zone. But it is still too early to talk about full control over the industrial zone, because military operations are being carried out in every quarter. Along Sadovaya Street there is a main delimitation between it and the Heroes of Labor Street. This gap is the main battlefield today. This is a few blocks - the street of Heroes of Labor stretches almost to the center and there is a line of defense along it, there are positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The defense is held along this street with the transition from hand to hand of one position or another several times an hour.
No serious advances and assault actions are being carried out from the east, since there, in the private sector, Wagner PMCs ran into the Bakhmutka River, which is also the main line of defense in the city near the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In the southern sector, they also move along the Bakhmutka River itself, which makes it easier for them to carry out any forcing actions downstream in the territory they control, but on the other hand, in the southern direction, progress into the city is stalled, especially through development. In the southwestern direction in Ivanovskoye and in the forest, Russian troops managed to advance with the forces of the 137th paratrooper regiment and cross the canal. The problem they were trying to solve for themselves was bypassing the forest, not fighting in the forest itself, and cutting the 05-04 highway somewhere between Ivanovskie and Stupochki.
Kovalenko suggested that this is probably how the Russian troops will move on: avoiding battles in the forests, only partially protecting the flanks. He confirmed that highway 0506 is currently under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but at the same time it is under fire from Russian positions.
The expert claims that the systemic counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and not the counteroffensive, the preparation of which is reported by the media, may affect the situation in the Bakhmut direction. Also, the situation for the Russian troops can be changed by the presence of an extra resource that they can use to conduct assault operations. Counterattacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have become more frequent only recently, the main tactic is mobile defense in urban environments, and counterattacks are just one part of this mobile defense, Kovalenko notes.
Melitopol was shelled from heavy weapons by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, previously, from the HIMARS MLRS, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the council of the pro-Russian "administration" of the Zaporozhye region, said in his Telegram channel. According to him, there were attacks on civilian infrastructure, around 5:30 in the morning a series of explosions sounded in Melitopol. He claims that there were hits in the objects of the Melitopol locomotive depot, in addition, the objects of the power supply system were damaged. In Melitopol and some nearby villages, the power supply was interrupted.
Kievsky district of Donetsk was also shelled, one of the shells hit the garage, VGTRK reporter Andrei Rudenko said , posting a video. The Ukrainian side did not comment on this information.
On the evening of March 29, local residents reported explosions near the military airfield in Gvardeisky (Simferopol region of Crimea annexed by the Russian Federation), reports were published by the Ukrainian media and Telegram channels. Later, the "head" Sergei Aksyonov said that the drone was shot down, it fell in the field, there was no damage. The “head” of the pro-Russian administration of the Guards rural settlement, Igor Chichkin, also suggested that the air defense had worked.
In Belgorod, a drone attacked the Gazenergoset gas pumping station. According to the Astra Telegram channel, the attack took place on the evening of March 27 by an unidentified drone with an explosive device. Damaged gas pipeline and empty gas tank.
Arms supplies to Ukraine
The Ukrainian army has received French AMX-10RC reconnaissance and firing vehicles, which are called “wheeled tanks” by Russian military correspondents and the media. The network has the first footage of them.
As the Military Review notes , the AMX-10RC is an armored combat vehicle manufactured by the French company GIAT. AFVs of this model have been in service with the French army since 1981; by 2021, there were about 240 units of this type of equipment in the French armed forces. The exact number of AMX-10RCs transferred to Kyiv is not disclosed, according to unofficial data, France intends to transfer 36 combat vehicles of this type, 12 of them are already on the line of contact.
These machines took part in ground operations in Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War, as well as in various French operations in northwest Africa.
About the main events of the war on March 28 - in the previous report: “The Russian Federation is losing tanks near Avdiivka, a Ukrainian drone in New Moscow, US drones are now flying farther from Crimea. What's going on at the front .