The situation at the front
In recent days, the Russians have stepped up their pressure on Bakhmut. Since the end of March 2023, their progress has mostly stalled, according to British military intelligence. The daily report states that Russia has made new gains and is now likely to have advanced into the city center and also captured the western bank of the Bakhmutka River. Ukraine's key supply route to the west of the city is likely to be under serious threat. Regular troops, including the Airborne Forces, have probably arrived in the area, and now the entire group is operating more effectively. The agency adds that it is likely that “at the local level, the commanders of the Wagner PMC and the Russian Ministry of Defense have stopped hostilities and strengthened cooperation.”
This is not confirmed by the messages of Yevgeny Prigozhin. Speaking about the storming of the station in Bakhmut, the founder of the PMC Wagner again stated that he had not seen the troops of the Russian Defense Ministry. Prigozhin is quoted by his press service in the Telegram channel.
The publication says that Prigozhin was asked to comment on the words of the adviser to the acting head of the "DPR" Denis Pushilin, Yan Gagin, who said that the Russian Armed Forces took control of the railway station in Bakhmut.
“I am little aware of the actions of the RF Armed Forces in Bakhmut - I did not see them there. And there is simply no time to watch Konashenkov's briefings. As for the railway station, indeed, units of the PMC Wagner are fighting fierce battles there,” Prigozhin replied.
Meanwhile, Telegram channels publish footage of the destroyed city with burning buildings.
"Leakage" of classified materials
The Pentagon is seriously studying the "secret documents" leaked online with an assessment of the situation in Ukraine and a schedule for training and equipping units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the eve of the impending counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army, The New York Times reports , citing senior officials of the US presidential administration.
On April 6, the Gray Zone Telegram channel associated with PMC Wagner published information according to which, by April 1, the planned deliveries of weapons to equip nine new brigades of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had been completed. Gray Zone also publishes in sufficient detail the number of vehicles for each of the teams. Allegedly, the leak of the American intelligence briefing with this data was also published in other Telegram channels.
The "leak" contains information about the composition and weapons of at least some of the Ukrainian units preparing for the offensive, there is information about the schedules for the delivery of ammunition and military equipment.
Based on the document, six assault brigades were to be ready by March 31, three more by April 30. The total number of weapons that these units are planned to provide is 253 tanks, 381 tracked vehicles, 480 wheeled vehicles, 147 artillery pieces, and 571 HMMWV armored vehicles. Ukraine is also independently training three more assault brigades, planning to have a total of 12 brigades at its disposal. The training of new units is carried out under the guidance of NATO instructors not only in Europe, but also directly on the territory of Ukraine itself.
The Office of the President of Ukraine called the leak of secret documents “photoshop” and “virtual pseudo-drain”. “Moscow is too eager to thwart the counteroffensive. But the Russians will see the real plans on the field. Soon,” wrote Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine.
Part of the documents, which, for example, contain information about Russian and Ukrainian losses, according to The New York Times sources, looks falsified. In one of the tables, the level of Russian losses is estimated at 17.5 thousand killed, Ukrainian - at 71.5 thousand, which contradicts the Pentagon's data on almost 200 thousand killed and wounded Russian military personnel and more than 100 thousand killed and wounded Ukrainian military.
It is known that at the beginning of the war, Kyiv refused to share its plans with Washington due to concerns about the leakage of this information. In recent months, military planning cooperation between the two countries has expanded. Such a leak would certainly have a negative impact on this process, notes The New York Times.
Military expert Alexander Kovalenko, in an interview with The Insider, noted that, firstly, the general concept of information warfare and propaganda contains one element from the times of the Soviet Union, which were used by the KGB and the GRU - anonymous letters.
“Anonymous letters are when a certain amount of manipulative or frankly fake materials are mixed into a large array of data containing truthful data, which are difficult to identify, because they are lost against the background of truthful information. Actually, what I have seen over the past two days, the phrase “anonymous letters” immediately clicked in my head. In principle, this is true, since, on the one hand, these data support the main Kremlin propaganda narratives - that the Pentagon is fully planning the operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are suffering enormous losses, and this campaign unfolded during the fierce battles for Bakhmut and the impossibility capture him. At the same time, the most serious losses of the Wagnerites near Soledar discredited, in general, those military operations that were carried out. At first, they tried to neutralize this with a large number of stuffing and discrediting the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and of a completely different type - from Russian propagandists to Western speakers. So, two narratives are made at once in such a stuffing - the narrative about the lack of independent decision-making by Ukraine, the narrative about heavy losses and the fact that Russian troops are at war with NATO in one way or another.
Another point that the expert noted is that the documents contain a certain position that corresponds to reality, but this is at the beginning of March - the alignment of troops, forces, units in the areas.
“It seems that when this array of data was being formed, what was in open sources was used, that is, what is irrelevant at the moment, namely the data at the beginning of March. There is no trust in this information. Since everyone expected this announced counter-offensive, the work of the intelligence services is greatly intensified. If Russian intelligence gets access to this kind of information about the impending counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, then what will it do? Draining into open sources? The Russian army has lost the initiative in the conflict zone in Ukraine. Recently, she has suffered severe losses, including reputational losses - a loss in the northern bridgehead, Kharkiv region, Snake Island, the right bank of the Kherson region. She needs victories, and a victory could be the organization of defense in the area where the counteroffensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine is being prepared and the creation of conditions in order to lure the Armed Forces of Ukraine into a trap, or as these Russian marginal military correspondents call a “cauldron”, and inflict a crushing defeat on the Armed Forces of Ukraine, capture a large number of prisoners and destroy a large number of Western equipment. And all this would have been possible if they had reliable information about the counteroffensive, but they did not do this and leaked "information" to open sources. It turns out that it has no value for them, and if this information has no value, then what is it, if not a fake.”
In Z-channels on April 7, the assessment of the "leak" has changed somewhat. For example, the Voyennaya Khronika Telegram channel calls the publication of documents a “stuffing”, the purpose of which “may be to underestimate the real number of units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine combat-ready and deployed for the offensive or to divert attention from other events related to a real offensive.”
The Russians could have deliberately damaged the MiG-29s that Slovakia wanted to transfer to Ukraine. About it writes the edition Euractiv. According to the head of the Ministry of Defense of Slovakia, Yaroslav Nagy, the Russians were at the air base in the city of Sliac until 2022. The minister said that faults were found in the planes.
“Even the police were investigating based on our suspicions. There were parts in the aircraft's engines that Slovak specialists had access to, and there were parts that only Russian specialists had access to. Defects appeared only in those parts to which the Russians had access,” he said.
The police investigation showed that the defects were only in those parts of the MiG-29 engines that were serviced by Russian specialists. In particular, according to one of the pilots, after repair by the Russians, one of the engines worked for only 70 hours instead of the prescribed 350. At the same time, it was not possible to prove the intentional nature of these damages.
The American M1132 Stryker ESV (with the LWMR minesweeper) and M1126 Stryker were delivered to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. One of the first videos has surfaced online showing that the Strykers handed over to the US are already in the hands of the Ukrainians. In total, the US provided 90 Stryker AFVs, including 20 with minesweeps.
Volunteers are being recruited near the metro in Moscow
A new recruitment campaign has started in the Russian capital for contract service. Agitation points and registrations of those who wished appeared near the subway.
“Campaign stands were placed near the metro, as the mos.ru website has too little and not very clear information that needs to be found,” the volunteers said.
Volunteers are lured by money and benefits. Telegram launched a chatbot for consultations, and on April 4, the so-called “collection point” was opened in a single window format. So that future combat units do not change their minds during the registration process, four PlayStation 5 consoles were installed at the collection point, you can play, for example, Atomic Heart.
Earlier, British military intelligence analysts drew attention to Russian media reports, from which it followed that the authorities were preparing to recruit an additional 400,000 troops. Russia presents the recruitment campaign as a voluntary recruitment of professional personnel, and not as a new mandatory mobilization. The Russian authorities have opted for a supposedly "volunteer scheme" to make up for the shortage of personnel while minimizing domestic outbursts. It is unlikely that such a campaign will attract 400,000 real volunteers, according to British intelligence.
"Military crooks" Strelkov
The ex-Minister of Defense of the “DPR” Igor Girkin (Strelkov) called the leaders of the “Nevsky” battalion “military swindlers”, to whom he had previously advertised.
In a post titled “I gave birth to you, I will kill you,” Strelkov writes :
“Readers of my page will remember that in September last year I was personally involved in the creation of an “advertisement” for this unit as the alleged chief of staff of the battalion. <...> And now I - faced with the fact that many volunteers consider the Nevsky as a desirable option for their dispatch to the front, <...> I am forced not only to disavow my "advertising", but also to make an appeal DON'T BELIEVE MILITARY CROOKS."
According to Strelkov, the battalion does not have “even one combat-ready company,” and the battalion commander “is engaged in political and commercial machinations, together with friends from the Night Wolves biker club.”
According to the founder of the battalion, Alexei Vereshchagin, the Nevsky detachment is a separate battalion-tactical group, reinforced by its own armored group and artillery. The squad was founded on October 14, 2022.
About the main events of the war on April 5 - in the previous report: " Drain" of American intelligence, a Ukrainian UAV in the Moscow region, saboteurs again entered the Bryansk region. What's going on at the front ."