Russia Is ‘Lying’ About Bakhmut, Says Wagner – DW – 05/12/2023

Chief of the Russian Private First Class Wagner Mercenaries Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Friday that Moscow regular troops were fleeing from their positions near the hotspot town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Prigozin said that “MoD forces have only fled the flank” of the Bakmut army, adding that “the flank is crumbling and the front is collapsing” in the area.

He also accused the Moscow military leadership of neglecting the situation around the war-torn Ukrainian town.

“Attempts to coddle the situation of the Ministry of Defense in the field of intelligence have caused and will lead to a global tragedy for Russia. For this reason, we must stop lying immediately. No,” Prigogine said.

Earlier on Friday, Russia’s defense ministry said it had repulsed a surge in Ukrainian military attacks on its positions in eastern Ukraine, suggesting that Russian forces had retreated slightly in some areas for tactical reasons.

The ministry said in a statement that Ukraine had attempted 26 strikes across a 95-kilometer (59-mile) front line, deploying more than 1,000 troops and up to 40 tanks. The attack was said to have taken place in the direction of the town of Soledar, occupied by Moscow forces.

However, the same statement indicated that Russian forces had retreated in some areas of the front and took up what they described as “more advantageous positions” near the Berhiuka Reservoir northwest of Bakhmut.

Bakhmut, Ukraine
Aerial view of the eastern Ukraine town of Bakhmut with smoke rising from buildingsImage: Libcos/AP Photo

Here are some of the other notable developments regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine on Friday, May 12.

Russian military helicopter crashes over Crimea

A Russian Mi-28 military helicopter crashes north of the annexed country, killing two Russian pilots. CrimeaThe Russian news agency reported, citing the Ministry of Defense.

The crash occurred during a training flight and the helicopter was flying unarmed, the news agency said in a Defense Ministry statement. The Ministry of Defense said it believed an equipment malfunction was the cause of the crash.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Crimea is internationally recognized as part of Ukraine, and Kiev has vowed to regain control of Crimea.

Rheinmetall establishes joint venture for tank building and repair in Ukraine

Rheinmetall has set up a joint venture with the Ukrainian state-owned conglomerate Ukroboronprom to build and repair tanks in Ukraine, Handelsblatt Daily reported, citing the chief executive of the German weapons maker.

“The deal is closed,” CEO Armin Papperger told the German newspaper. Handelsblattadded that the cooperation will cover the maintenance and repair of armored vehicles in Ukraine, and the construction of tanks will be prepared in parallel.

Rheinmetall will hold a 51% majority stake in the new company and will take over the management of the new company. According to reports, the German company plans to sign two more joint venture agreements in the ammunition and air defense sectors within the next few days. Handelsblatt.

Zelensky to meet Italian president in Rome on Saturday

Italian President Sergio Mattarella will welcome Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Rome on Saturday, the Italian presidential palace said.

Zelensky will also meet with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Pope Francis during his visit. Since coming to power, Meloni has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine’s efforts to repel Russian aggression.

It is unclear how long Mr Zelensky will stay in Rome, and there is speculation that he is planning a trip to Germany this weekend.

German media reported earlier this month that President Zelensky visited Berlin to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, before Sunday in the western city of Aachen to receive the Charlemagne Award for his contribution to European unity. was reported to have won the

German authorities have not confirmed the visit, but Berlin police opened the probe After details of a possible trip by this unit appeared in the media,

Ukraine asks for help ahead of counterattack

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German majority wants Ukraine to hold talks with Russia to end war: survey

Majority of Germans want Ukraine to join negotiations with Russia to end The war Moscow started almost 15 months agoAccording to one survey.

In a survey conducted on behalf of the DPA, pollster YouGov asked respondents, “Do you think Ukraine should negotiate with Russia to end the war at this point, or shouldn’t it? asked.

55% of respondents said Ukraine should negotiate with Russia, while 28% said it shouldn’t.

The majority of Germans questioned (54%) also opposed NATO’s invitation to Ukraine to join the Western Defense League.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the NATO summit in Lithuania in July and hopes leaders will pave the way for his country’s membership.

US, German ministers discuss efforts to counter Russian sanctions evasion

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with German Finance Minister Christian Lindner on the sidelines of the G7 summit.The two stressed the importance of cooperating against each otherRussia evades Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

“Secretary Yellen expressed appreciation for Germany’s close cooperation in enforcing sanctions against Russia and discussed the importance of cooperation to combat sanctions evasion,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The United States and a broad coalition of other nations provide Ukraine with significant economic, security, and humanitarian aid, while imposing significant economic costs on Russia through sanctions and export controls.

Turkey announces extension of Ukraine grain deal is nearing completion

Turkey announces extension of talks Agreement to allow grain exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea We were close to an agreement.

“We are moving towards an agreement on the extension of the grain agreement,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement. Akar was referring to talks in Istanbul this week between officials from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations.

The US and UK on Tuesday accused Russia of exploiting global hunger to its advantage in war and pressured Russia to extend the deal again.

After diplomacy by the United Nations and Turkey, the Black Sea Grains Initiative, which has been in place since July, has helped ease shortages and associated price spikes caused by Russia’s invasion of the breadbasket.

The agreement expires on May 18, but Russia has yet to commit to a third renewal.

Chinese envoy to visit Ukraine

China Beijing said it would send special envoys to Ukraine, Russia and other European countries from Monday to discuss a “political solution” to the Ukraine war.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, “Since May 15, Ambassador Li Hui, special representative for Eurasian affairs of the Chinese government, will visit Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia to communicate with all relevant parties on the political resolution of the Ukraine crisis. take it,” he said. said at a regular press conference.

China claims to be in a position to help mediate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict because it does not publicly stand on either side.

But Western countries say: China’s 12-point peace proposal for Ukraine Too vague and no concrete path out of war And could be used by Putin to promote a truce so that his forces would remain under control of the occupied territories.

EU leaders press for China on Ukrainian stance

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Ukraine reports profit over Bakhmut

Ukraine announced on Friday that Ukrainian forces had made significant advances around the battleground city of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, where the epicenter was. war with russia for several months.

Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maryal released a statement on social media saying, “The enemy has lost a lot of manpower. Our defense forces have advanced two kilometers (about one mile) to the vicinity of Bahmut. We didn’t lose a single position,” he said.

The comments came after another senior Ukrainian military official said this week that Russian troops had withdrawn from some areas near Bakhmut after Kiev forces counterattacked.

But Russia late Thursday denied that Ukraine had made any breakthrough in the flashpoint city, saying reports of territorial loss around Bakhmut were “not in line with reality.”

Moscow reacted after Russian military bloggers wrote on Telegram and reported: Ukraine advance Some believe that the long-awaited counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces has begun in the north and south of the city of Bakhmut.

Bakhmut, which had a pre-war population of about 70,000, has been devastated as the Russian army has recorded a gradual increase in numbers over the past few months, reaching about 80% of the city itself.

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dh/wd, msh, fb (AP, AFP, DPA, Reuters)

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