Ukraine seized the tactical initiative around Bakhmut – ISW 05/19/2023 12:02:11. Total views 463. Views today — 1.

"Ukrainian forces have seized the tactical initiative and made tactically significant gains around Bakhmut in counter-attack operations on May 18. These operations are a continuation of the localized counter-attacks Ukrainian forces have been conducting for some days and do not reflect the start of a major new operation", - the Institute for the Study of War report says.

Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted on May 18 that Wagner mercenaries are unable to encircle the Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut due to the loss of stable flanks north and south of Bakhmut.

ISW recently assessed that the russian military command is reallocating military assets to the Bakhmut area in order to augment Wagner’s offensive capabilities and to gain a tactical victory ahead of a Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The limited nature of Wagner’s offensive operations in Bakhmut compared to the localized Ukrainian counterattacks underscores the loss of russian initiative in the area.

Earlier it was reported that the owner of the Wagner PMC Prigozhin denied the reports by "war correspondents" about the capture of Bakhmut.