Russian troops have been forced into a humiliating retreat in the battle for the city of Bakhmut with footage showing soldiers fleeing the battlefield. The blow to the Kremlin’s war effort comes as Vladimir Putin and Russian generals were in Moscow to mark Victory Day with a grand parade in Red Square.
Footage from the frontline seems to confirm Ukrainian reports of a successful counter-offensive around the eastern city.
Ukraine’s 3rd Assault Brigade is believed to have spearheaded the attack which resulted in Russian units fleeing the area after months of slow gains in Bakhmut by the Russian army.
The video appears to confirm reports that Putin’s forces “turned and ran” in another humiliating blow for the Russian despot.
The combat drone footage shows the 3rd Assault Brigade advancing toward dug-in Russian positions across an open field outside the city.
Supported by tanks, the ferocity of the assault appears to spook the Russian soldiers who begin to retreat.
According to conflict analyst Igor Sushko, the Ukranian Army has recorded the recapture of some 7.8 square kilometres of the city in recent fighting.
He added that according to Ukrainian soldiers on the ground the Russian army’s 6th & 8th companies, 72nd brigade were all routed.
Sushk wrote on Twitter: “Bakhmut has a total area of 41.6km². Ukrainian soldier on the front has reported that 7.8km² of the city was liberated during this one night.
“That’d give Ukraine control over 1/4 of the city. Russian army’s 6th & 8th companies, 72nd brigade, were routed.”
The setback from Russia comes Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian private military contractor Wagner, said his fighters had yet to receive ammunition promised to them by the military — but that they would continue to fight in Bakhmut despite earlier threatening to withdraw them.
In a video published on Telegram, Prigozhin claimed that Russian army units had fled their positions in the city due to the “stupidity of their leadership”— a reference to the Defense Ministry — and that it threatened to charge Wagner troops with treason if they, too, pulled out.
Prigozhin’s allegations could not be independently verified, and the Russian military has not commented on them.
The threat of departure marked another flare-up in Prigozhin’s long-running dispute with Russia’s military brass over credit and tactics in the war.