Key Takeaways

  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin and Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov stated their intent on May 6 for Chechen “Akhmat” troops to replace Wagner Group forces in Bakhmut on May 10.
  • Prigozhin and Kadyrov likely aim to frame the Russian MoD and regular Russian troops as ineffective and set conditions to blame the MoD for any Russian setbacks in the Bakhmut area.
  • While the potential deployment of Akhmat troops to Bakhmut could increase Russian combat power to some degree, the claims made by Prigozhin and Kadyrov are greatly exaggerated.
  • The Russian MoD has yet to respond to Prigozhin and Kadyrov’s coordinated posturing about Bakhmut and may have been caught flatfooted by Prigozhin and Kadyrov’s statements.
  • At least one individual with claimed but unconfirmed affiliation to the Ukrainian government attempted to assassinate Russian “A Just Russia” State Duma party co-leader and prominent nationalist voice Zakhar Prilepin on May 6.
  • CNN reported that Russian electronic warfare (EW) jamming has limited the effectiveness of Ukrainian HIMARS strikes in recent months.
  • Russian forces continued limited offensive operations northeast of Kupyansk and in the Kreminna area.
  • Russian forces continued to make marginal gains within Bakhmut and Ukrainian forces likely conducted a successful limited counterattack southwest of Avdiivka.
  • Russian occupation officials claimed that Ukrainian forces targeted Crimea with Hrim-2 short-range ballistic missiles.
  • Ukrainian sources reported that Russian authorities are continuing various measures to forcibly mobilize residents of occupied areas of Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation officials continue to plan for mass forced evacuations in Zaporizhia Oblast.

Authors: Karolina Hird, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, and Mason Clark

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