War in Ukraine. Report on Monday, October 3, 2023

Mercenaries from the Wagner group are important to the Russian army because they know the area around Bagmut very well, Denis Yaroslavskyi, commander of one of the Ukrainian army units, told Ukrainian radio Svoboda.

The military official responded to the question of whether the Ukrainian forces detected the presence of Russians in the Bagmud area, who previously belonged to the Wagner group and now joined the units of the regular Russian army.

Jaroslavsky noted that no Russians have been caught so far, so it is difficult to determine their connection. Nevertheless, he said, the Ukrainian military has information that Wagnerians who signed contracts with the Russian Defense Ministry are returning as contract soldiers. He assessed this as a “logical situation” because the ex-Wagnerians were still “a unit capable of fighting”.

– It is logical that they will return to the direction of Bachmut, because thanks to the months they have spent here, they know the area and know the area – Jaroslavsky said.

He emphasized that this knowledge should not be underestimated. At the same time, he argued that the Ukrainian army would not allow a mass movement of Russian troops in this direction.

On October 1, Illa Yevlash, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Eastern Military Group, said that the mercenaries of the Wagner Group no longer pose a tactical threat and that the formation cannot return to the same operations as before. By the time the city was controlled by the Ukrainians, especially the Wagnerians, Bagmut was sent to storm. Russia still has 10,000 people in the city. Soldiers and Ukrainian forces attempt to surround Bagmuth.

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