Ukrainian troops have launched renewed attacks around Bakhmut’s northern and southern flanks in recent days, leading some analysts to speculate that they may be trying to encircle Russia’s forces.
“Wagner’s men went into Bakhmut like rats into a mousetrap,” Oleksandr Syrskyi said.
Advancing through the eastern town of Bakhmut, the Wagner mercenaries have been likened to rats trapped in a mousetrap, as expressed by the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces.
Recent days have witnessed Ukrainian troops launching renewed assaults on Bakhmut’s northern and southern flanks, leading analysts to speculate on their potential strategy of encircling Russia’s forces.
Oleksandr Syrskyi, in describing the situation, stated, “Wagner’s men went into Bakhmut like rats into a mousetrap.”
In a localized counter-offensive operation, Ukraine has reportedly reclaimed approximately 7.7 square miles (20 sq km) to the north and south of the city.
However, despite these gains, Moscow’s forces, led by the Wagner Group, have managed to advance further into the heart of Bakhmut.
Providing insight into the situation, Hanna Malyar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, emphasized that the developments in Bakhmut should not be viewed in isolation, as they do not form part of a broader planned counter-offensive by Kyiv.
Malyar stated on the Telegram messaging app, “For example, within a few days, our troops liberated about 20 sq km from the enemy in the north and south of the suburbs of Bakhmut. At the same time, the enemy is advancing somewhat in Bakhmut itself, completely destroying the city with artillery.”
South of Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces are believed to have made progress through a wooded area south of the village of Invanivske, moving toward Klishchiivka—a village previously claimed to be captured by Wagner in January.
To the north, confrontations have been reported in the highlands surrounding the Berkhovskoye reservoir.
Grey Zone, a prominent Russian military blogger associated with Wagner, recently asserted that Ukraine’s newly established positions provide them with an advantageous tactical vantage point.
This enables them to effectively conduct reconnaissance and employ various types of weaponry against Russian troops situated in the valley below.
Western officials confirmed on Wednesday that Ukraine successfully halted Russia’s westward advancement along the Donets-Donbas canal.
Furthermore, Ukraine’s General Staff disclosed that Russia has suffered over 200,000 casualties since the commencement of the conflict over a year ago.
Remarkably, only three NATO armies—the United States, Turkey, and France—have more soldiers than the number of Russians killed or wounded in Ukraine.
Despite these heavy losses, Moscow has amassed a force exceeding 200,000 troops to defend the extensive 600-mile front line in anticipation of Kyiv’s counter-offensive, according to estimates from Western sources.
A Western official added, “Stalin famously noted that quantity has a quality of its own. I think quality has a quality of its own, and it’s particularly important with regard to the actual ability to effectively defend, also attack, and the ability to actually be coherent to react to Ukrainian moves.”