Conflicting reports from Russians, Ukrainians, Poles and Americans about the situation in Bakhmut. On the one hand, the Ukrainian government speaks of a “tactical withdrawal” by ordering documents from the country’s state institutions to be removed from the city; on the other hand, the head of PMC Wagner, Evgeny Prigozhin, paints a very different picture that worries many inside and outside Russia.

According to reports and videos, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities are hurriedly evacuating the archives of state institutions from Bakhmut.

In the video, two men load documents from the city’s education department and pension fund into a car. The transfer of the documents is done in a hurry. The Ukrainian authorities throw them out the window and load them into a van.

Earlier, the NYT revealed that medical and humanitarian groups are not allowed into the city. The two events indicate that the Ukrainians are preparing to surrender the city.

Watch the video.

Ukrainians talk of a “tactical retreat”

Meanwhile, Eastern Group of Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty admitted a possible “tactical withdrawal” of Ukrainian troops from Artyomovsk (Bakhmut).

“Tactical withdrawal is possible in different situations, mainly to preserve personnel, improve tactical position and conduct more effective defensive operation to level the defense line,” Cherevaty stressed in his interview for RBC Ukraine.

It is important that the enemy does not get the chance to systematically break through our defenses, because then he will move in the direction of a main attack.

In this case, for example, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, ” continued the speaker of the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Cherevaty’s statements are not accidental. The Ukrainian army suffered hundreds of casualties in the city. This fact is confirmed by American, Russian and Israeli sources.

The following video confirms this information. Hundreds of dead Ukrainian soldiers in Bakhmut.

Watch the video.

Meat grinder Bakhmut

What does Prigozhin say?

A completely different picture of the current situation is given by Evgeny Prigozhin.

“Russian forces could take Artemovsk, also known as Bakhmut, sometime in March or April,” Evgeny Prigozhin, head of the private military group Wagner, told Russia Today in an interview.

Prigozhin noted that the timeline is difficult to predict as Kiev continues to receive military aid from the West.

“Bakhmut must be occupied so that our troops can operate more comfortably,” the Wagner chief stressed.

“Why do they call it a meat grinder? Because the Ukrainian army is sending more and more units,” he also said.

“It’s probably too early to say we’re getting closer. There are many ways out and few ways in. Ukrainian soldiers are well trained ( … ) and like any big city, it is impossible to take the city by attacking it head-on. We are doing very well,” he continued .

“First we have to take Artyomovsk quietly and then we will be able to say loud and clear that we have taken it,” he added, using the name of the city from the USSR era.

“In all directions the enemy is becoming more active and attracting more and more new reserves. Every day, 300 to 500 new fighters approach Bakhmut in all directions. The artillery fire is increasing daily.

Heavy fighting continues in the north to this day. There are no conditions to surround the enemy in the northern areas. We fight from house to house, square meter by square meter. The hard work continues. It is not at all clear where the information about the encirclement of the city in the northern areas comes from.

Bakhmut will not be occupied tomorrow, because there is a lot of resistance and a meat grinder is in operation. In order for the meat grinder to work properly, it is impossible to suddenly stop and go on vacation. Soon there will be no more holidays.
Therefore, there is absolutely no point in discussion and discouraging everyone with your unfulfilled promises, ” Prigozhin’s press service quotes as commenting on the situation in Artyomovsk.

50,000 Ukrainians against 80-100,000 Russians?

“To keep Bakhmut under their control, the Ukrainian army has deployed troops equivalent to 90 battalions in the city and its surroundings – we are talking about a group of 50,000 people.

This is similar to the national armies of some countries, for example Cuba, Uzbekistan, Belarus, etc.”

According to Prigozhin, up to 45-50 thousand people are involved in the fighting for Bakhmut on the side of the Ukrainian forces.

“The ongoing fighting for this city has paralyzed the Ukrainian army and is even forcing Kiev to concentrate its largest troops in this area.”

The Russian media themselves critiques Prigozhin’s statements, saying that “the figures quoted by Prigozhin contradict those previously reported by Russian military sources and the Ukrainian armed forces, where the maximum number was only about 10,000 soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces .

A much larger force is needed to organize a successful attack. It is speculated that Russian troops with at least 80-100 thousand men are involved in the offensive only in the Bakhmut region.

At least two-thirds of the city is surrounded by Russian troops

Watch the video.