- Wagner Group mercenaries appear to be withdrawing from Bakhmut city to reconstitute and regroup in the rear as Russian offensive operations decrease in and around the city.
- The Russian military command may be transferring Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DNR) forces to relieve Wagner Group forces in Bakhmut city.
- The Russian transfer of DNR elements to Bakhmut may decrease the tempo of Russian offensive operations on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- The Russian military command appears to be reinforcing Bakhmut’s flanks with regular formations, however.
- Former Russian officer and ardent nationalist Igor Girkin accused Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin of planning a coup against the current Russian leadership.
- Ukrainian officials denied Western reporting that suggested that a Chinese diplomat expressed interest in a negotiated ceasefire in Ukraine amidst the likely renewal of Russia’s information campaign surrounding negotiations.
- Russian forces continued limited offensive operations northeast of Kupyansk and south of Kreminna.
- Russian forces continued to launch unsuccessful offensive operations on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.
- Ukrainian forces continued to strike rear logistics nodes in southern Zaporizhia oblast.
- The Ukrainian Main Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) warned on May 26 that Russian forces are preparing to conduct large scale provocations to create radiological danger at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).
- The Russian Ministry of Justice registered the civil society group “Council of Mothers of Wives” as a foreign agent on May 26, likely to curb resistance to ongoing and future Russian force generation efforts.
- Russian authorities are escalating efforts to portray Russia as a safe guardian of Ukrainian children.
Authors: Kateryna Stepanenko, Riley Bailey, Grace Mappes, and Fredrick W. Kagan.
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