Key Takeaways

  • Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that Wagner forces continue to hand over positions in Bakhmut to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and withdraw from the city.
  • Ukrainian sources claim that Wagner forces are still present in Bakhmut and that the tempo of Russian offensive operations around the city continues to decrease.
  • Continued successful limited Ukrainian counterattacks on Bakhmut’s flanks may complicate the Russian relief in place operation in Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces conducted a large-scale missile and drone strike across Ukraine on May 25 and 26.
  • The Kremlin is likely reviving its information campaign to coerce the West into forcing Ukraine to accept concessions and negotiate on terms favorable to Russia.
  • The Wagner Group reportedly exchanged 106 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) for an unspecified number of Russian POWs on May 25, suggesting that Wagner may have conducted the exchange independently of the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD).
  • Russian forces continued limited offensive operations northeast of Kupyansk and along the Svatove-Kreminna line.
  • Russian forces continued limited offensive operations along the Avdiivka-Donetsk front.
  • Russian forces continued to target Ukrainian positions in southern Ukraine.
  • Russian officials are continuing to form new volunteer formations to defend Russian regions that border Ukraine.
  • Russian occupation officials continuing attempts to erase Ukrainian cultural heritage by looting Ukrainian artifacts.

Authors: Riley Bailey, Nicole Wolkov, Kateryna Stepanenko, and Mason Clark.

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