For Russia, May 9 is the second year of the collapse of military objectives and plans. A year ago, the command of the armed forces of the Russian Federation planned to seize the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The occupiers failed to capture these Ukrainian regions. This year, all Russian resources, including military representatives of the aggressor country, also had a destination on May 9. The Kremlin wanted to capture Bahmut of the Donetsk region completely. The fights for this city have been going on for 9 months. Therefore, the Russian armed forces first replenished the forces near Bakhmut with the army of the head of the Chechen Republic, Kadyrov, then the Russian private military company Wagner, which belongs to businessman Pryhozhyn. On the eve of 9 May, Pryhozhyn announced his withdrawal from Bahmut due to a lack of weapons. His troops were not withdrawn, and the shelling of Bahmut intensified.
Therefore, the ISW believes that the Russian armed forces, including defence minister Shoihu and chief of the general staff Herasimov, were victims of blackmail. Pryhozhyn and Kadyrov probably blackmailed Russia to resume supplies of ammunition. Thus, organisations independent of the Kremlin do not want to admit defeat and want to restore their authority.
"It certifies that problems with the chain of command significantly affect the ability of the Russian military to conduct coordinated operations in the theatre of military operations," writes ISW.
Experts believe that the high command loses control of the war after being blackmailed by military organisations. In addition, the Russian side will not be able to capture Bahmut on May 9. For the Kremlin, this is another shock, violating the propaganda of the "superpower" and the beginning of its formation on the Day of victory.