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Russia plagued by Kremlin infighting; Wagner mercenaries struggle in Bakhmut: Ukraine live updates

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has confirmed infighting in the Kremlin inner circle and that the Kremlin has lost centralized control over the Russian information space, a Washington-based think tank reports.

The Institute for the Study of War’s latest assessment on the war in Ukraine said Zakharova made the statements Saturday at a Moscow forum on technology and information. The assessment says Zakharova acknowledged the Kremlin cannot replicate the Stalinist approach of establishing a modern equivalent to the Soviet Information Bureau to centrally control Moscow’s message because of fighting among unspecified Kremlin “elites.”

The assessment suggests Zakharova may have openly discussed these issues to tamp down expectations that Kremlin leaders will publicly agree on policy.

“Zakharova’s statement is noteworthy and supports several of ISW’s longstanding assessments about deteriorating Kremlin regime and information space control dynamics,” the assessment says.

‘THIS IS INHUMANE’: Poland, Slovakia ready to send fighter jets to Kyiv; Russian missiles engulf Ukraine: Updates


►The British government urged the Olympics’ biggest sponsors to pressure the International Olympic Committee to ban Russian athletes. British Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer says Moscow will use sports for propaganda during the war in Ukraine.

►Thousands of Ukrainians gathered in Kyiv to say goodbye to Dmytro Kotsiubailo, killed in action near Bakhmut on March 7. Kotsiubailo, 27, was among the most decorated Ukrainian soldiers and was awarded the Hero of Ukraine in 2021.

Wagner mercenaries reportedly struggling to advance on Bakhmut

Mercenary Wagner Group fighters are likely becoming “increasingly pinned” in urban areas in and around Bakhmut and are finding it difficult to make significant advances in the region that has been the primary focus of Russia’s war in recent weeks, an assessment from the Institute for the Study of War says. Russian forces continued ground attacks Saturday in and around Bakhmut but did not make any confirmed advances within the city, the assessment says.

Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin apparently drew to within almost a mile of Bakhmut’s administrative center, but several Russian military bloggers claimed Ukrainian forces appeared to be preparing for a counteroffensive in Bakhmut, the assessment says.

Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty said fighting in Bakhmut was more intense last week than in the previous week.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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