Information about the losses of the Russian army in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region has become the main one in the information space of the Russian Federation. This "drowned out any positive effect of the capture of the city."
This is stated in a recent report by the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Analysts emphasize that the pro-military information space simply "exploded" with discussions about Russia's losses in Bakhmut. The discussion was provoked by his statement by the founder of PMC "Wagner" Yevgeny Prigozhin. In an interview, he talked about the losses of the Wagnerites. According to him, 10,50 Wagner prisoners out of 10,<> recruited and <>,<> PMC personnel officers were liquidated in Bakhmut.
Prigozhin's statements about Wagner losses in Bakhmut also became a separate point of tension in the information space and began to define the dominant discourse about the entire Russian campaign in Bakhmut. By shifting the conversation towards the claimed losses of Wagner, Prigozhin has largely succeeded in further depriving the Russian Ministry of Defense of the ability to assert an information victory in Bakhmut and is likely to continue to identify and talk about Bakhmut in the future, but at the cost of highlighting the huge losses suffered by his own troops for little gain.
Russian military bloggers picked up Prigozhin's claim, shifting the discussion from discussing the importance of capturing Bakhmut to intensifying controversy over casualties. In addition, there was information that the oligarch underestimated the losses of his mercenaries.
In turn, the ISW emphasizes that Prigozhin is likely to use his popularity after the capture of Bakhmut to intensify attacks on the Russian military establishment and elites. It is noted that the leader of "Wagner" deliberately constantly emphasizes that it was his military who captured the city in order to create the appearance of "absurd influence on hostilities." Thus, according to the Institute, he is trying to establish himself as a Russian totalitarian figure who can achieve military victory in Ukraine.
Prigozhin is likely advocating incredibly radical political approaches to the war in Ukraine to contrast himself with Putin's relatively uninclined approach to war decision-making.
The capture of Bakhmut likely gave Prigozhin the courage to pursue political ambitions more explicitly, despite the internal turmoil it could cause or the danger the Kremlin could pose to him.
We will remind, the other day in one of the interviews Yevgeny Prigozhin confirmed the heavy losses of the Russian army in Ukraine. According to him, fewer people died during the war in Afghanistan than in Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. That is why, said the leader of "Wagner", "the Russian Soviet army gradually, in terms of morale and tactics, degraded."
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