Russia may be shifting focus from Bakhmut to areas under its control

In the war in Ukraine, Russia appears to be shifting its focus from its offensive against the eastern city of Bakhmut to defending areas under its control.

The Russian military has been fighting to take full control of Bakhmut jointly with mercenaries from the Wagner Group.

On Friday, Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin slammed the Russian defense ministry for what he claimed was its intentional suspension of ammunition supplies to his forces. He threatened to pull out of Bakhmut on May 10.

The Institute for the Study of War released its assessment on Friday, saying the Russian defense ministry "appears to have deprioritized the Bakhmut offensive in favor of preparing to defend against an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive."

The US think tank also said the ministry has apparently decided to begin "withholding and stockpiling ammunition and supplies in order to prepare for any Ukrainian counteroffensive actions."

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Saturday that fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut, and that Ukraine is determined to battle it out.

In Russia, Victory Day celebrations, including military parades, have been canceled across the country following a claim by the Russian government on Wednesday that Ukraine's drones targeted the Kremlin.

Russia's presidential office said on Friday that President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with members of his Security Council to discuss preparations for the Victory Day celebrations. But no details were provided.

It's believed the Putin administration is cautiously considering whether to conduct Victory Day events in Moscow's Red Square as planned.

May 9 is a Russian holiday that commemorates the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.