- Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut say it will be easier to fight regular Russian troops than Wagner’s forces.
- Troops told the Washington Post that the Wagner Group’s “unorthodox strategies” were difficult to manage.
- Fighting in Bakhmut has mostly stalled, with most Ukrainian forces ensconced in the outskirts of the town.
Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut hope Wagner Group forces will be replaced by regular Russian troops, saying the latter are easier to fight due to their youth and inexperience.
In an interview with The Washington Post, a drone operator identified as Chuck said Wagner’s troops used “unorthodox strategies” that made them difficult to predict, while regular Russian forces lacked the same qualities.
“Fighting with Russian regular forces is not as difficult as fighting with Wagner,” he told the Post.
Ukrainian troops are preparing for a shifting Russian presence in Bakhmut, as Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin announced last week that his soldiers would withdraw after Russia took full control of the town.
By June 1, Prigozhin said, Wagner’s mercenaries would be entirely replaced by regular Russian battalions.
“We hand over positions to the military: ammunition, positions – everything, including ration packs,” Prigozhin said in a video, according to a translation by The Kyiv Independent.
A Ukrainian commander in Bakhmut known as Chichen told The Washington Post he looks forward to the change.
“It’s interesting because the Wagner guys were sitting in their little bunkers and not coming out,” he said, the Post reported. “While the Russians, they’re young, they’re fresh, they’re new, and they’re just hanging out. Then we give them hell.”
Russia claimed victory over Bakhmut – which has seen some of the deadliest fighting of the war – earlier this month. Although it may be A A meaningless victory, the intense fighting exhausted the Russian forces before the long-awaited counter-offensive from Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops told the Washington Post that most of their forces are located on the outskirts of the city and that there is a potential plan to “semi-encircle” Bakhmut and even recapture the city after Wagner’s withdrawal. .