Russian nationalist Zakhar Prilepin, a prominent supporter of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Saturday’s Coverage: Russia Walking Away from Bakhmut Assault?

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has stepped back from his threat to withdraw his fighters from the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Prigozhin declared on Friday that the mercenaries would leave on Wednesday unless they received ammunition and supplies. His invective-filled rant targeted Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Chief of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the overall commander of the Russian invasion.

But on Sunday, he said in an audio message on Telegram:

We have been promised as much ammunition and weapons as we need to continue further operations. We have been promised that everything needed to prevent the enemy from cutting us off will be deployed.

A spokesman for the Ukraine military’s Eastern Command, Serhiy Cherevaty, said the episode was an attempt by Prigozhin to distract from Wagner’s heavy losses in its “human wave” assault.

“489 artillery strikes over the past 24 hours in the area around Bakhmut – is that an ammunition hunger?” he asked.


Russian shelling has killed six Ukrainian emergency service workers and injured two others in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine on Saturday.

The Russian military dropped the shells from a drone near a populated area. Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said another two civilians were injured in attacks by 237 projectiles launched from heavy artillery, “Grad” rocket launcher, tanks, and aircraft.

“A pre-trial investigation has been initiated in criminal proceedings for violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder,” said the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office.


The Russian proxy governor of occupied Crimea says Ukrainian forces attacked with more than 10 drones overnight.

Mikhail Razvozhayev said three of the drones were launched on Sevastopol. He claimed all had been downed and there was no damage.


Ukrainian Government advisor Anton Gereschenko posted a video of Zakhar Prilepin, a prominent Russian nationalist seriously injured in a car bombing on Saturday, boasting about leading a military unit carrying out mass killing in eastern Ukraine:


Russia shelling of Nikopol, in the Dnipropetrovsk region in east-central Ukraine, has killed an elderly woman and injured three people.

Dnipropetrovsk Governor Serhiy Lysak said seven homes, a high rise building, and a college dormitory, farm buildings, and five cars were damaged.

Nikopol is across the Dnipro River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe.

International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi said on Saturday, “The general situation in the area near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is becoming increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous. I’m extremely concerned about the very real nuclear safety and security risks facing the plant.

Grossi cited information that Russia is carrying out an evacuation of residents from the town of Enerhodar, where most of the plant’s staff live.


Russian forces have been accused of violating international law with the dropping of white phosphorus munitions on the frontline city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow is facing the breakdown of its 11-month assault on Bakhmut after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner Group mercenaries carrying out the “human wave” assaults, said his fighters will withdraw on Wednesday if they do not receive ammunition and supplies.


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has announced the release of 45 Ukrainian prisoners of war from Russian captivity.

In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy said the 42 men and three women had all defended Mariupol during Russia’s 12-week assault, bombing, and siege of the port city in spring 2022. Ten of the POWs were officers.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Attackers seriously injured prominent Russian nationalist Zakhar Prilepin on Saturday.

Prilepin, a co-leader of the “A Just Russia” party in the Duma and a novelist, was targeted with an improvised explosive device on or near his car in the Nizhny Novgorod region in western Russia.

Russian officials arrested a man, Oleksandr Permyakov, whom they claimed carried out the bombing on the orders of Ukraine’s Special Services. A Russian media outlet claimed a second suspect was detained in a nearby forest area, but Russian authorities have not corroborated this report.

The Atesh Ukrainian-Tatar resistance movement claimed involvement in the attack, but neither Ukrainian and Russian officials backed up the assertion.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry declared, “Responsibility for this and other terrorist acts lies not only with Ukrainian authorities, but also their western patrons, the United States in the first instance.”

On April 2, 2023, fighter and military blogger Maxim Fomin (Vladlen Tatarsky) was killed by an explosive, hidden in a statuette presented to him in a St. Petersburg cafe. A young woman, Darya Trepova, was arrested.

See also Ukraine War, Day 404: Russia Rocked by Bombing in St. Petersburg

Last August, Darya Dugina, a propaganist and daughter of the ultra-nationalist polemicist Alexander Dugin, was slain in a car bombing near Moscow.

Russian bloggers connected Saturday’s attacks with the Tatarsky and Dugina killings, blaming Ukraine and and the Western states for orchestrating the operation and calling on Russia to step up law enforcement measures.