Ukraine special forces footage appears to show Bakhmut battle

Ukraine has released what it says is helmet-camera footage from its special forces clearing a Russian position in Bakhmut. Kyiv says it has stopped the enemy and pushed it back, with President Zelenskyy telling his people the Russians are mentally prepared for defeat.

Ukrainian military commanders said on Friday that their troops had recaptured more territory from Russian forces at the scene of the war’s longest and bloodiest battle, for the eastern city of Bakhmut, but it wasn’t clear if this marked the start of Kyiv’s long-expected counteroffensive.

In a separate incident, two-long range Ukrainian rockets hit what Russian described as administrative buildings of two defunct enterprises in Russian-occupied Luhansk in the east.

Russia’s Defence Ministry, meanwhile, said Ukrainian forces had stepped up attacks north of the Bakhmut region while denying speculation by Russian military bloggers that the Kyiv forces had achieved “defence breakthroughs.”

The two kilometres of territory that Ukrainian forces south of Bakhmut retook this week represent a significant gain and will protect an important supply chain, according to commanders of Ukraine’s 3rd Separate Assault Brigade, a special forces unit that led the attack, releasing what it said was helmet camera footage from one its soldiers.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he met with the top military commanders on Friday, noting that Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi reported his forces “stopped the enemy and even pushed him back in some directions.”

In his nightly address to the Ukrainian people, Zelenskyy praised his troops and noted the low morale of the Russian forces.

“The occupiers are already mentally prepared for defeat. They have already lost this war in their minds,” he said. “We must push them every day so that their sense of defeat turns into their retreat, their mistakes, their losses.”

In a statement on Telegram on Friday, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar confirmed that Ukrainian forces gained ground around Bakhmut, reiterating statements from military commanders earlier this week.

In Washington, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US has assessed that Bakhmut remains contested territory.

“Ukrainians have not given up their defence of Bakhmut and the Russians haven’t given up their attempts to take Bakhmut,” Kirby said. “Every single day, the lines change back and forth. I mean, sometimes block by block.”

The US maintains that Bakhmut has limited strategic value but that Russia has absorbed an enormous loss of troops and weaponry in the battle for the former salt-mining town that has been grinding on for eight months.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the millionaire owner of Russia’s private military contractor Wagner who is a frequent critic of the Russian military, slammed it again for losing ground around Bakhmut and exposing his forces battling for the city.

In a video statement Friday, Prigozhin mocked the Russian Defence Ministry’s report claiming that its forces regrouped to take more favourable positions, saying they effectively fled and “our flanks are crumbling.”

He warned that the Ukrainian forces have reclaimed key heights around the city and effectively unblocked the key supply link to Bakhmut. Prigozhin again accused the military leadership of refusing to provide sufficient ammunition to Wagner.

“You must immediately stop lying,” Prigozhin said, addressing Russia’s military leaders. “If you fled, you must prepare new defensive lines.”

Prigozhin – who seems to use harsh criticism to pressure the Kremlin for more support and improve his stature – alleged the Defence Ministry’s failure to protect Wagner’s flanks amounted to high treason and could result in a “great tragedy” for Russia.

Apparently denying Prigozhin’s claim of abandonment, Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Russian airborne units are still supporting ground forces to “stop the attempts of the Ukrainian armed forces to counterattack on the flanks.”

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, explained the spat as being “reflective of increased panic in the Russian information space over speculations about planned Ukrainian counter-offensives.” This indicates increased concern among leaders of Wagner and the Russian Defense Ministry as well as “reflecting Kremlin guidance to avoid downplaying Ukrainian successes,” it said.

Ukrainian military officials have dismissed speculation that the fighting and forward movement in Bakhmut signalled that its anticipated counteroffensive was underway. Zelenskyy said in remarks broadcast Thursday that Kyiv was delaying the campaign because it lacks enough Western weapons. Some saw the comments as designed to keep Russia guessing about Ukraine’s next move.

Addressing the nation Friday evening, Zelenskyy said more arms were coming “to defeat the aggressor and restore peace.”

The territorial gains occurred near the Siversky-Donets canal, between the villages of Ivanivske and Kurdiumivka, according to a commander of the 1st Assault Battalion of the 3rd Separate Assault Brigade. He spoke on condition he be referred to only by his call sign of “Rollo,” in line with Ukrainian military protocol.

“This was the enemy’s bridgehead, which they intended to use in their future attacks along the canal, in the direction of Kostiantynivka,” he said. “We had to neutralise the enemy and push them to the other side of the canal.”

Another commander and a military spokesman corroborated his account.

Kostiantynivka is part of an important logistics chain that leads to the city of Kramatorsk.

Rollo said the gains followed other successes, including one that secured an access road near Khromove, north of Bakhmut, and another that allowed Ukrainian forces to reclaim lost positions in the Industrial College inside Bakhmut city.

The assault south of Bakhmut was followed by a reported increase in Ukrainian offensive actions near the city of Soledar on Thursday, Russia’s Defence Ministry said. Russia repelled 26 Ukrainian attacks carried out by over 1,000 soldiers, the ministry said, adding that up to 40 tanks were involved.

The slow and grinding fight for Bakhmut has been costly for both sides, with Ukraine seeking to deny Russia any territorial gains despite its marginal strategic significance. Ukrainian forces are stationed in the city, while Russian troops are attacking from the north, east and south.

In other fighting, at least two people were killed and 22 injured elsewhere in the country since Thursday, according to figures from the Ukrainian President’s Office.

Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said a Russian strike hit Kramatorsk, where some Ukrainian military units are based, destroying a school and residential building. Russian shelling hit 11 cities and villages in the region, killing 12 civilians, he said.

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Tucker Spreading Fake Doctored Russian Propaganda About Ukraine Losing? Would Fox News Even ALLOW That?

Yes, we know, Tucker Carlson has been playing his interview with Elon Musk the past two nights, and it has been overstuffed with loser divorced dad incel moments to make fun of, like when Elon got that look on his face that says “Is my hand in my pants right now?” while he talked about how abortion and birth control interfere with his weird breeding desires. Or when Elon said, “I’m very familiar with space and stuff.” We will make fun of those things very soon.

First we want to talk about another story related to Tucker and the Discord leaker and Russia’s war in Ukraine, where Tucker openly takes the side of the vile, genocidal, amoral aggressors. (Russia.)

Tucker has been lying and misleading his viewers about the latest accused leaker of classified information pretty much since the get-go, trying to turn the loser into some hero for the (Russian) cause of revealing the TRUTH about what’s going on in in Ukraine. (Not the truth.) He’s also been using facts and figures from the documents to convince his very idiot viewers that the presence of 14 US special forces attached to the embassy in Kyiv means Joe Biden has been lying and America is in a HOT WAR with Ukraine.

Tucker So Mad Nobody Talking About How Leaker Exposed Secret HOT WAR Between Russia And 14 US Troops

But, you see, certain things in those documents had themselves been altered while they were making the rounds on the dork nerd Discord/4Chan/Reddit internet. Certain things had been altered in a specifically Russian propaganda direction, to make it look like, for example, seven Ukrainians were dying for every Russian killed.


The Wall Street Journalreported this weekend on an American spreader of Russian propaganda named Sarah Bils, who ran and/or participated in a network of spreaders of Russian propaganda who posed as a Russian blogger named “Donbass Devushka.” (Translation: “Donbas Girl.” You’ll note that “Donbas” is the name of one of the regions in eastern Ukraine the Russians want to claim as their own and where at the beginning of the war they wanted the world to believe the people would greet them with flowers and blowjobs. It’s where Putin declared “independence” for the two republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, so that he might liberate them from their Ukrainian Nazi occupiers. “Donbass” is the Russian spelling.)

Bils is a former NCO from the US Navy, and the WSJ reports she was stationed at Whidbey Island in Washington state up until last year. Meanwhile, she’s doing this pro-Russian shit online. She says 15 people people all over the world control the “Donbass Devushka” account.

Indeed, it sounds like this account’s dissemination of some of the materials allegedly leaked by Jack Teixeira — shit that had been on the nerd internet for a while and hardly noticed — was what got the attention of Russian social media, which in turn got the attention of the Defense Department. Nobody cared about these documents until April 5, when this network of Russian propagandists that was actively supporting “our men on the front” — Russians — started putting them up on Telegram. Bils says she was not the member who posted this stuff, but rather that she took it down some days later.

But somewhere between Teixeira trying to impress his nerd friends on Discord by posting these documents and these Kremlin mouthpieces posting them on Telegram, some of the information on the documents got tweaked:

Some of the slides reposted on the Telegram account overseen by Ms. Bils had been altered from the otherwise identical photographs allegedly posted by Airman Teixeira on Discord—changed to inflate Ukrainian losses and play down Russian casualties. A subsequent post on the Donbass Devushka Telegram channel, on April 12, denied that the image had been doctored by the administrators.

“We would never edit content for our viewers,” the post said.

Take that as you will.

So that’s where the claim came from that SEVEN UKRAINIANS were dying for every Russian casualty. Have a heart, people! How could you want the Ukrainians to keep fighting if Russia is just massacring them? It’s not a fair fight! We should probably all get behind some kind of “peace plan” for Ukraine that involves giving Vladimir Putin as much of sovereign Ukraine as he wants while we all tongue all over Putin’s taint.

It’s the only humane solution, right?

Tucker Carlson sure thought so, when he started spreading the doctored Russian propaganda on Thursday night. Mediaite summarizes:

Malcontent News first reported on Sunday that Tucker Carlson used the “edited version” of the documents posted by Donbass Devushka’s Telegram channel to “claim Ukraine was suffering a 7-1 troop loss ratio and was ‘losing the war.’”

Indeed, last Thursday in an angry rant in which Carlson accused both President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin of committing “crimes” related to supporting Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion, Carlson cited that statistic.

“The second thing we learned from these slides is that despite direct U.S. involvement, Ukraine is in fact losing the war. Seven Ukrainians are being killed for every Russian. Ukrainian air defenses have been utterly degraded. Ukraine is losing. The Biden administration is perfectly aware of this,” Carlson declared. Carlson has long claimed Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is going far better than the media has reported, all while remaining a fierce critic of Ukraine’s leadership.

Here is a tweet from an investigative journo about it:

And here is Rachel Maddow talking about Tucker:

Oh yes, weep for the poor Ukrainians, who are totally losing the war, for whom all hope is lost! Why would you force them to keep fighting like this if seven of them are dying for every Russian? Are you some kind of MONSTER?

Only Tucker Carlson and his ideological pals truly care about the plight of the desperate Ukrainians. And he read some stuff a fake Russian propaganda blogger posted that’s just really concerning him right now.

As far as what’s really going on in Ukraine, Cathy Young writes at The Bulwark that most of the people pushing the narrative that we really should be reeling over the information in these leaks are indeed propagandists for Russia, the Putin apologists who have a fundamental and sick need to believe Ukraine is losing.

But Young says even some more mainstream media is taking the bait, and should cut that shit out. She argues that from the perspectives of the Ukrainians and their supporters, the leaks “[contain] essentially nothing new, at least as far as the war in Ukraine is concerned.” She goes through all the things that are supposed to be sorts of shattering revelations and shows the receipts on how people have been talking about them for months.

And, she notes, the leaks contain a hell of a lot that’s embarrassing for Russia, stuff that’s clearly driving some of their propaganda-spreaders quite batshit. (She’s got the receipts on that too.)

So, you know, chill the fuck out.

Read the whole thing, as they say in internet circles.

And don’t listen to Tucker Carlson.

Y’all hear his employer is paying out $787.5 million to a voting machine company as a penalty for brazenly and knowing lying to its gullible idiot viewers about that company after the 2020 election? And that a lot of those lies came from his show?

And here we all thought they were so credible and above reproach.

[Mediaite]

Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter right here

And once that doesn’t exist, I’m also giving things a go at the Mastodon (@[email protected]) and at Post!

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