Ukraine commander fires back at Wagner boss over claims of shell shortages

A Ukrainian brigade commander in Bakhmut has hit back at claims made by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin that the Russian mercenaries are running low on munitions. The commander insisted instead that Wagner have escalated their artillery and mortar attacks in recent days. For several months, Bakhmut, also known as the “meat grinder,” has been the site of fierce combat with significant deaths on both sides.

Russian forces are continuously attacking the city, according to Colonel Roman Hryshchenko, commander of the 127th Territorial Defence Brigade of Ukraine.

Commander Hryshchenko asserted that his forces had repelled the waves of attacks from the enemy despite the challenges.

He said: “In the last few days, the intensity of shelling and rocket artillery has increased.”

“The situation is difficult. The enemy is throwing a great deal of its forces at us, constant waves of assaults.”

Meanwhile, on Friday the Russian Ministry of Defence claims that Ukraine attacked Soledar with 26 attacks yesterday.

According to RIA news agency, Moscow claims that the attack included more than 1,000 soldiers, 40 tanks, and other military and specialised equipment.

According to the ministry, “the enemy” engaged in “offensive operations” along the more than 95-kilometer contact line. The ministry asserted that every assault had been “repelled” with success.

Professor Michael Clarke, a defence and security analyst at Sky News, thinks that what is happening may not be the start of the counteroffensive that was expected, but it could be the beginning of a preceding phase.

He told Sky News: “We are waiting for the beginning of the Ukrainian offensive, some say this is it, but I don’t think it will be.

“When that offensive begins, it will almost certainly start with lots of deception and decoys.

“I think there will be a couple of weeks of real uncertainty, but we may now be in the beginning of that process of uncertainty and confusion.

“The Ukrainians are waiting for the weather to get better and in the next couple of weeks there’s not much rain in the forecast for southern Ukraine, the ground is drying very fast.

“So the Ukrainians know that this is their moment, but we don’t know how well they have integrated all their armour, and they don’t know until they try it.

“As the old saying goes, ‘no military plan survives first contact with the enemy’ or as Mike Tyson put it, ‘everyone has a plan until you get hit in the mouth’.”