Despite infighting, the Russian Defenсe Ministry is reinforcing Wagnerites to capture Bakhmut
Even though there is infighting between the Russian Defenсe Ministry and Yevhen Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner PMC, Wagner militants are being reinforced with modern means to capture the city of Bakhmut.
ISW report points out that the news of the reassignment of Russian Airborne Commander Mikhail Teplinsky indicates that the Russian Defence Ministry is seeking to work more closely with the Wagner Group to complete the capture of Bakhmut, despite the apparent tensions between Prigozhin and the Defence Ministry leadership.
In addition, experts say, Prigozhin has also reduced his direct attacks on the Defence Ministry in recent days.
Russian military bloggers also report that Wagner's forces use T-90 tanks in Bakhmut, indicating that the Russian leadership has provided the PMC with more modern means to capture the city.
Experts point out that the Russian military command appears to be increasingly shifting responsibility for offensive operations in Ukraine to the Russian airborne forces.
According to experts, it is unlikely that Teplinsky will be able to restore the previous status of the Airborne Forces as an elite unit due to the significant losses in Ukraine.
"Widespread losses to previously elite units that are now being restaffed with poorly trained mobilized personnel are likely to have long-term impacts on the combat effectiveness of these units, and the replacement of a single commander is highly unlikely to be able to solve such pervasive damage," the report reads.
Experts also note that Wagner's group released 130 Ukrainian prisoners of war on 16 April, which suggests that Wagner could have carried out the exchange independently of the Russian Defence Ministry.
The report suggests that Wagner's PMC may be trying to force mobilized Russian servicemen to sign contracts with Wagner, possibly to compensate for losses in Ukraine.
For example, experts cite that conscripts from Moscow and Ivanovo oblasts of the Russian Federation, in a public complaint published on 16 April, claim that the Wagner group forced 170 mobilized servicemen to sign contracts with it.
Earlier, Russian sources claimed that 100 conscripts in Luhansk Oblast disappeared on 7 April after refusing to sign contracts with Wagner.
Russians shell Nikopol district: two people wounded
Serhiy Lysak, chairman of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Military Administration, Yevhen Yevtushenko, chairman of the Nikopol District Military Administration, report that On Sunday, two civilians were wounded in the shelling of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
According to updated information, in addition to Nikopol, Chervonohryhorivka hromada (an administrative unit designating a town, village, or several villages and their adjacent territories – ed.) also came under fire."
Yevtushenko said that as a result of the shelling, two civilians were injured.
"The wounded man, born in 1965, received outpatient medical care. The hospitalized woman, born in 1984, received the necessary medical care, and her condition is stable. A church, five private residential buildings, four outbuildings, two cars, and power lines were damaged. One outbuilding was destroyed," he wrote.
Occupiers threaten to deport residents in Kherson Oblast who don't obtain a Russian passport
Russian invaders continue to rob the civilian population of Ukraine, appropriating the grain harvest of Ukrainian civilians. For example, in the city of Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the so-called Russian occupation ‘authorities’ are trying to export stolen corn by loading it onto barges.
The General Staff has also reported that the Russian occupiers continue to force the passport nation of the population in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
In particular, in the village of Tavriia, Kherson Oblast, the invaders are actively conducting house-to-house visits to check for Russian passports.
"Citizens of Ukraine who have not obtained a Russian passport have been informed that if they do not obtain the documents by 1 June, they will be deported with the confiscation of all personal property," the General Staff said.