Ukraine update: Wagner figures show how the mercenaries in Bakhmut were burned

Ukraine update: What happened in the night

Wagner numbers show how the mercenaries in Bachmut were burned

Eighty percent of Wagner mercenaries were injured in May’s fighting in Ukraine. 28 percent were even killed in the clashes. That reports that “Institute for the Study of War” (ISW) and refers to a source close to the mercenary army. A senior commander of the group with the nickname “Marx” is quoted.

78,000 Wagner mercenaries were deployed in the fighting, which took place almost exclusively around the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. 49,000 of these were convicted criminals. 22,000 fighters of the group were killed, 40,000 others were injured. If these figures are correct, according to the ISW, the group was most likely unable to fight afterwards. According to “Marx”, the Wagner group currently consists of 25,000 mercenaries. 10,000 of them are in Belarus, 15,000 are recovering, probably in Russia.

On May 20, Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin reported the capture of the city of Bakhmut, which had been fought over for months and had been almost completely destroyed. As part of its counter-offensive, Ukraine is currently trying to recapture it. The commander of the Ukrainian land forces, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, recently told the BBC that the Russian forces were “half surrounded” in Bakhmut. This laid the foundations for the city’s recapture.

Zelenskyy proposes dismissal of Ukrainian culture minister

After dissatisfaction with the handling of state funds, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants to dismiss Minister of Culture Olexander Tkachenko. Zelenskyi said in his evening video address on Thursday that he had asked Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal to consider replacing Tkachenko. Previously, Ukrainian media reported that the culture minister wanted to spend 500 million hryvnia (about 12 million euros) to complete a national museum dedicated to the Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor genocide in the 1930s.

“In times of war like this, the main attention of the state, and thus also of state resources, should be on defense,” criticized Zelenskyj. Of course, museums and other cultural areas are important, he emphasized, “but right now we have other priorities”. After around 17 months of Russian war of aggression, Ukrainian society understands that savings are currently being made on things that are not urgently needed. Zelenskyj also instructed the government to develop alternative financing options for cultural and other projects.

IAEA: Waiting for access to roofs of Zaporizhia NPP

Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency are still waiting for access to the roofs of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian troops. The specialists carried out further inspections of the facility earlier in the week, but so far have not discovered any visible signs of explosives or mines, said IAEA Director Rafael Grossi, according to a report by the agency on Thursday. According to Grossi, the IAEA continues to demand access to the roofs of the reactors and their turbine halls.

A week ago, the head of the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, had rejected allegations that Moscow was allegedly planning to blow up the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

Russian troops had occupied the nuclear power plant shortly after the start of the war of aggression ordered by President Vladimir Putin almost 17 months ago. The plant came under fire several times, which, despite being shut down, increased international concern about a nuclear catastrophe. For months Moscow and Kiev have suspected each other of deliberately provoking an accident at the nuclear facility, either by shelling or by mining. The allegations came to a head in early July. It was said that an attack was imminent. In the meantime, the situation has calmed down somewhat.

The IAEA, which has its own observers on the site of the nuclear power plant, declared at the height of the dispute that it saw no signs of mining. At the same time, however, the international nuclear experts also reported that the plant had previously been mined and that they did not have access to all areas of the power plant.

US: Russia could accuse Ukraine of attacking civilian ships

The US government has again warned that after Russia pulls out of the international grain deal, it could expand its attacks on civilian ships in the Black Sea and then blame them on Ukraine. “Our information indicates that Russia has continued to lay sea mines in the approaches to Ukrainian ports,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said on Thursday. “And yesterday we observed that Russia released video of the discovery and detonation of what they claimed was a Ukrainian sea mine.” It is possible that this video could be a “harbinger” of a false flag attack.

On Monday, Russia declared the agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain across the Black Sea to be over, despite all international appeals. Moscow then announced that it would consider ships calling at Ukrainian ports as possible military targets in the future. In the past few nights, Russia has attacked the port of Odessa, from which millions of tons of food have been exported in recent months, and other Ukrainian cities on the Black Sea. Moscow has been waging a war of aggression against the neighboring country for 17 months.

What will be important on Friday

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) will meet his Czech colleague Jana Cernochova during his inaugural visit to Prague on Friday. One topic should be a possible procurement of Leopard 2A8 main battle tanks. As part of a ring exchange, the Czech Republic has already received the first of 14 Leopard 2A4 tanks from Germany. The NATO member state will thus receive a modern replacement for the Soviet-designed T72 tanks delivered to Ukraine.

Jean Harris

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *