In today's summary:
- The Armed Forces of Ukraine are counterattacking on the "road of life" near Bakhmut;
- In the Bakhmut area, a conflict is unfolding between the Wagner PMC and a previously unknown Gazprom PMC called Potok;
- The Ukrainians claim that the Russian Aerospace Forces have changed the tactics of using combat aircraft and kamikaze drones;
- Encouraging slogans began to be applied to Russian combat helicopters;
- Shells with depleted uranium for the British Challenger 2 tanks were transferred to Ukraine;
- Slovenia donated 20 Valuk armored vehicles to Ukraine;
- A repair base for Leopard 2 tanks transferred to Ukraine will open in Poland in May;
- Yevgeny Prigozhin again complains that the Russian Ministry of Defense does not give shells to Wagner PMC mercenaries.
The situation at the front
American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) writes in the daily report that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are conducting limited counter-offensive operations in the north-west of Bakhmut. Referring to the video of the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine and its geolocation , ISW reports that Ukrainian forces managed to push the Russians around the road to Chasov Yar, which is also often called the "road of life." Recall that earlier there were reports that the Wagnerites advanced close to the road and even established physical control over it.
The British Ministry of Defense in its report notes that close battles continue in Bakhmut. The main clashes take place on the outskirts of the city, especially near the village of Khromovo, where the Armed Forces of Ukraine are trying to maintain control over the key highway O-0506 (the very “road of life”), which allows supplying the group of Ukrainian troops. Communication with Bakhmut on unpaved roads is difficult due to weather conditions.
For the same reasons, there are difficulties for the Ukrainian military to advance near Kreminna, as follows from the video published by the Ukrainian Telegram channels. On it you can see a GAZ-66 truck stuck in the mud along the axis.
Commander of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Khorenko visited Bakhmut. The day before, the commander of the Land Forces Alexander Syrsky visited the front-line city.
Analyst Def Mon gives his assessment of the situation in Bakhmut.
At the same time, a conflict is unfolding in the Bakhmut area between the Wagner PMC and the previously unknown Potok PMC, allegedly created by the Russian state company Gazprom. Two videos are circulating on social media. In the first video, a group of armed men addresses Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling themselves fighters of the Potok volunteer battalion, formed from private security officers of PJSC Gazprom. They complain about poor supplies and the "irresponsible attitude" of the command, as a result of which two positions were lost, as well as threats of physical violence from Wagner PMC mercenaries, who blocked the withdrawal from the line of contact.
In a response video recorded by the Wagnerites, the Potok fighters were accused of having "abandoned their positions in full strength", called them "pissing creatures", and described the whole situation as "here the 'blue stream' has flown away."
Meanwhile, Ukrainian resources are spreading an interesting video with an allegedly captured soldier of the Potok battalion. According to him, "Gazprom" has created three divisions: "Potok", "Torch" and "Flame". The Potok battalion was given to the PMC Redut, and the Torch and Flame were transferred under the command of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
According to Aleksey Dmitrashkovsky, head of the joint press center of the Tauride Defense Forces, the Russian Aerospace Forces have changed tactics in the combat zone:
“We see how many air strikes were carried out yesterday… The enemy uses a slightly different tactic – [before] one aircraft flew, maximum two, they flew separately… Yesterday they had teamwork: two aircraft lured out the air defense forces, and the third struck”
According to Dmitrashkovsky, the Russian side also changed the practice of using kamikaze drones for the first time:
“Yesterday afternoon – this was the first time – “Shaheds” were used, they were successfully shot down, but after them “Lancets” appeared. This is also such a strategy to reveal ... air defenses and then strike with the Lancets. ”
According to fresh video of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, another significant change in the work of Russian aviation is associated with the application of inspiring inscriptions on the sides, for example, “We are Russians. God is with us!" <spelling and punctuation of the original preserved - The Insider>.
Ukraine acknowledged the attack by maritime drones on Sevastopol, but rejected accusations of violating agreements related to the work of the “grain corridor”.
“The recent events in Crimea concerned exclusively military installations and are in no way connected with the grain agreement, which provides for Ukrainian ports and civilian ports,” Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, said in a comment to the Ukrainian TV channel Suspilna.
Russian Telegram channels write that Donetsk was shelled with artillery systems with a NATO caliber of 155 mm. In addition, it is reported about the “dumping of ammunition” from a drone and about the wounded during the shelling. The man filming the video cited in the post says that "the arrival was" when "our tankers were driving here."
In Kherson, during a Russian shelling near the Antonovsky Bridge, Corrado Zunino, a journalist from the Italian edition of La Repubblica, was wounded , and the Ukrainian Bohdan Bitnik accompanying him was killed. The Italian was wounded in the shoulder and was taken to the hospital.
Ukrainian resources distribute video with the alleged destruction of the Russian electronic warfare complex MKTK-1A "Judoist" by the GMLRS projectile in the Zaporozhye direction. An anonymous researcher, tweeting under the nickname Necro Mancer, points to the geolocation of the video in the village of Limanovka and notes that Vladimir Rogov, an official of the occupation administration of the Zaporozhye region, spoke about the damage to the gas pipeline and private households in Limanovka, but for some reason did not mention the strike on the Russian electronic warfare system.
Armaments and military equipment
Project Ukraine Weapons Tracker believes that the video of the strike on Bakhmut that appeared yesterday showed the use of JDAM-ER guided bombs. The Conflict Intelligence Team is leaning towards the GMLRS version (HIMARS MLRS missile). One of the Russian Telegram channels writes about the same, noting that the flight path of the ammunition recorded on the video does not correspond to the characteristics of a guided bomb.
It should be noted that earlier in the “leaks” of secret Pentagon documents, problems were noted with the use of JDAM by Ukrainian forces.
A Harfang MALE UAS drone manufactured by Airbus was spotted over Russian positions in the Zaporozhye region. It is capable of carrying out radar and optical-electronic reconnaissance.
A video has been published on the YouTube channel of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which for the first time shows the American MIM-104 Patriot anti-aircraft missile system on combat duty.
Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force Command, said that with the help of Patriot, critical infrastructure facilities, including nuclear power plants, would be covered. He also said that shooting down Russian S-300 air defense missiles with the help of the American complex is “inexpedient”, although Patriot is capable of doing this. According to Ignat, it is much more efficient to destroy the launchers themselves on the ground.
The British Ministry of Defense announced that it had handed over to Ukraine shells for Challenger 2 tanks, including those with depleted uranium. This is stated in the response of the deputy head of the department, James Gippy, to the request of MP Kenny MacAskill:
“We sent thousands of Challenger 2 rounds to Ukraine, including armor-piercing rounds with depleted uranium. For reasons of operational security, we will not comment on the utilization rates of the supplied kits.”
Slovenia donated 20 Valuk armored vehicles to Ukraine. By according to the Slovenian media, the deliveries were made in secret and were completed this week.
Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak said that the repair and technical center for the Leopard 2 tanks transferred to Ukraine will open in Gliwice on the basis of the Bumar-Łabędy plant in May. In addition, it is also planned to deploy a new production line for the Krab self-propelled guns there.
Meanwhile, in Romania, the German concern Rheinmetall is building a service center designed to repair the Leopard 2, Challenger 2, Marder and Fuchs armored personnel carriers, as well as other Western military equipment.
Exchange of prisoners
Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak announced the return of 44 fighters (36 privates and 6 officers) from Russian captivity. Among them are the defenders of Mariupol, Azovstal, combatants in the Kherson region, as well as in the east of the country. In addition to the military, two civilians were released.
In turn, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the return of 40 servicemen to Russia. According to the department, they will be delivered by plane to Moscow, where they will "undergo treatment and rehabilitation in medical institutions of the Russian Ministry of Defense."
Evgeny Prigozhin again complains that the Russian command does not give Wagner PMC shells and accuses the military of "treason and crimes against Russia." According to him, ammunition is "piling up in warehouses in batches," and the number of Wagner mercenaries is "drying up." “Those bastards who decide not to give ammunition must answer to the mothers of the dead,” Prigozhin goes bankrupt.
This is not the first time Putin's chef has complained about the fact that the Ministry of Defense does not give his PMC Wagner shells. The last time he made statements about this was in February. In early April, the Ukrainian military said that the Wagnerites had managed to solve the problem with ammunition.
On the main events of the war on April 25 - in the previous report: the Armata tank in the SVO zone, combat dolphins in the port of Sevastopol, Prigozhin earned 4.7 billion rubles for the Ministry of Defense. What's going on at the front