The situation at the front
The founder of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that his fighters seized the Bakhmut administration building in the Donetsk region. On April 2, Prigozhin's press service published a video in which he claims that on Sunday evening his mercenaries allegedly took Bakhmut.
“April 2, 2023, 23:00. We hoisted the Russian flag with the inscription "Good memory to Vladlen Tatarsky" and the flag of PMC "Wagner" on the city administration of Bakhmut. Legally Bakhmut is taken. The enemy is concentrated in the western regions,” the video says.
Sergei Cherevaty, a spokesman for the eastern group of troops of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, told Reuters that Russian forces are “very far” from capturing Bakhmut. A spokesman for Ukrainian troops confirmed that there was indeed fighting near the city administration building, but it is not clear where the Russian troops raised their flag.
A building in the center of Bakhmut is destroyed or badly damaged. According to DeepState, the city administration building has been completely destroyed. Ukrainian military analysts compared footage from a copter published by Russian Telegram channels with satellite images of the area and found that the Bakhmut city council, located in the city center (at 44 Mira Street), was destroyed to the ground.
Later, a video from the center of Bakhmut appeared.
Heavy fighting for Bakhmut has been going on since August 2022. From the Russian side, Wagner PMC mercenaries participate in them. In mid-March, Prigozhin claimed that his mercenaries "control about 70%" of the city.
Military expert Alexander Kovalenko, in an interview with The Insider, explained that statements about the installation of the flag by Prigozhin are “Simonyanism” and another PR stunt.
“Margarita Simonyan expressed herself: “Ukraine can be captured in two or three days,” such is such a deep comprehensive analytics and the same statement. Some time later, the same Margarita Simonyan declared: “Well, we have already captured Kiev, but we landed our troops in Gostomel.” In her understanding, the landing in Gostomel is, in fact, the capture and control of Kyiv. And here is the same Simonyanism in the actions of Yevgeny Prigozhin, because the city of Bakhmut is not 100% controlled not only by PMC Wagner, but also by units of the Russian occupation forces. The same administration building of Bakhmut, which Prigozhin spoke about in his video, is behind him, a hundred meters away. He wasn't on the roof, he wasn't at the main entrance. He stood with some kind of flag at a distance from him at night and talked about the fact that legally Bakhmut was already under the control of the Wagner PMC. There are already some paradoxical terms used by Russians… well, I can’t call Prigozhin a military leader, because he doesn’t even have a military education, but such field commanders use some kind of local slang, which is very far from real. So I treat what Prigozhin demonstrated as a PR stunt. He tried once again to draw attention to Wagner PMCs.”
Kovalenko notes that, according to many Russian "experts", Bakhmut has been surrounded for a long time, but if we use the language of military concepts, then there is no encirclement there. Logistics is maintained along the routes O0506 and O0504, logistics is constantly being carried out.
Even if we talk about the advancement of Russian units along the Bakhmutka River, along its right bank, the Russians do not have much success in this matter, the military expert notes, because a few weeks ago a goal was set for the southern group of Wagner PMCs to move north along the right bank of the Bakhmutka in order to close with the grouping that was in the northern sector, i.e. in the industrial area. Thus, a short circuit was to occur on the right bank, which would cut off the access of the Ukrainian armed forces to the right bank. This would enable the Russian occupation units to set up the process of forcing Bakhmutka. But even this has not been implemented to date, says Kovalenko, because the right bank is still under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
In the northern sector, the day before yesterday, 9M79 missiles — this is the Tochka-U operational-tactical missile system — hit the industrial zone where Wagner PMC units were located, which significantly affected their combat capability in moving from north to south.
Speaking about Bakhmut, Prigozhin mentioned Sergei Surovikin, deputy commander of the Joint Group of Russian Forces in Ukraine, saying that he was directly involved in the Bakhmut meat grinder operation. In particular, he, together with the commanders of the PMC "Wagner", participated in the development of the operation to "liberate" Bakhmut.
“Sergei Vladimirovich Surovikin was directly involved in its (operation. - Ed.) development and implementation, at the time when he led the group. And therefore, I would attribute a huge number of decisions that were made to his account, ”the press service of the Concord company quoted Prigozhin as saying.
In early January, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu appointed a new commander of the Joint Group of Forces in Ukraine, Chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, became Chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Sergei Surovikin, who previously held this position, was appointed his deputy.
Poland has sent several MiG-29 fighter jets to Kiev, Marcin Przydacz, head of the International Policy Bureau of the Office of the President of Poland, said on RMF FM radio. According to him, the transfer of the first batch of fighters has been completed.
Representative of the Air Force of Ukraine Yuriy Ignat, in turn, called this a historic step, noting that Ukraine today has 3 brigades of such aircraft.
“There are 5 fighter brigades: 2 Su-27 brigades and 3 MiG-29 brigades,” Ignat said.
The Danish Ministry of Defense has agreed with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense to jointly transfer 8,000 155 mm artillery shells to Ukraine. This is stated in a message published on Monday by the Danish Ministry of Defense. The timing of the release and delivery of shells is not specified.
Pro-Russian official's car exploded in Melitopol
In occupied Melitopol, a car exploded on Bogdan Khmelnitsky Street, according to the Telegram channel of the Russian "administration" of the city. The explosion injured Maxim Zubarev, who until recently headed the Russian "administration" of the Akimovsky rural settlement. He is in critical condition. In mid-November, the Ukrainian media reported on the death of Zubarev in a car explosion. Later, however, it turned out that he survived.
The village of Akimovka, Melitopol District, was occupied by Russian forces in March 2022. In May, Zubarev was appointed head of the Russian "military-civilian administration" of the settlement. Soon after his appointment, he created a Cossack squad in Akimovka.
On March 27, the car of Mikhail Moskvin, the head of the city police department appointed by Russia, exploded in occupied Mariupol. He himself at the time of the explosion was a few meters from the car and was not seriously injured.
Murder of the propagandist Tatarsky
A video has been published of what happened after the explosion in a cafe in St. Petersburg, where the “commander” Vladlen Tatarsky (real name Maxim Fomin) died. Daria Trepova, 26, is suspected of involvement in the explosion, she was detained. In a video released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the girl admits that she brought a statuette to the meeting with Tatarsky, which, presumably, contained explosives.
Telegram channels, citing “sources,” reported that Trepova allegedly told the ICR that she was recruited by journalist Roman Popkov. The journalist denies this information. He told The Insider that evidence could have been beaten out of the girl.
“Just now I saw all these wild messages from Musorsky Telegram channels. What I want to say is that this is complete bullshit and hell, this is a lie. I know Dasha Tykovka on Twitter, she is my longtime subscriber there and on the Telegram channel, and I already forgot when we last talked. Of course, I didn’t give her any orders to blow up this devil, and I didn’t do this kind of operation.
As I understand it, there are enough other partisan groups in Russia that perform all this. She could not consider that I asked her to do something for someone. I am sure that the FSB, having taken a person hostage, will now beat out a variety of testimonies from her, she confesses to anything: that I controlled her, as in the song “Koldun” of “The King and the Jester”, that the FBK is to blame for everything, that Navalny's network is the agents of the GUR or the SBU, they will now beat anything out of it.
Roman Popkov is an ex-correspondent for MBKh Media, as well as an ex-leader of the Moscow branch of the National Bolshevik Party (NBP) of Eduard Limonov, which was recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation in 2007.
Earlier, a number of media reported that Daria Trepova left the hall before the explosion. But judging by the latest videos, she stayed in the building. One of the victims of the explosion, Marat Arnis, published footage of what happened after the explosion. Earlier in a conversation with The Insider, he said that he did not see the girl leave the bar. This is confirmed by his video. At some point after the explosion, allegedly Daria Trepova comes out of the institution, she looks dumbfounded, then the girl leaves.
The Investigative Committee reclassified the case of the murder of military commissar Tatarsky to a more serious article - about a terrorist attack. Vladimir Putin posthumously awarded Tatarsky the Order of Courage. As stated in the presidential decree, the blogger was awarded "for courage and bravery shown in the performance of professional duty."
The National Anti-Terrorism Committee reported that Tatarsky's murder was planned by the Ukrainian special services "with the involvement of agents from the FBK" Alexei Navalny.
About the main events of the war on March 31 - in the previous report: “ The shelling of Kharkov and Zaporozhye, a child died in Avdiivka, Lukashenka asks for strategic nuclear weapons. What's going on at the front ."