Russia’s Wagner group claims control of Bakhmut, but Kyiv says fighting continues – POLITICO

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GettyImages 1244486790 scaled.jpg

Russia’s Wagner paramilitary group claimed on Saturday to have gained management of Bakhmut, the jap Ukrainian metropolis that has seen the fiercest battles lately in Moscow’s warfare on Ukraine, however Kyiv disputed the assertion and stated heavy combating continued there.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, Wagner’s chief, stated in a video posted on Telegram that Bakhmut got here below full Russian management round noon Saturday, in accordance with media studies.

“Right this moment, at 12 midday, Bakhmut was utterly taken,” Prigozhin stated within the video. “We utterly took the entire metropolis, from home to accommodate.”

Ukrainian officers denied that Wagner had established full management in Bakhmut, however referred to as the scenario within the metropolis crucial. Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s jap command, instructed the Related Press that Prigozhin’s declare “shouldn’t be true.” Ukrainian “models are combating in Bakhmut,” he added.

Ukrainian Deputy Protection Minister Hanna Maliar stated heavy combating was persevering with within the metropolis. “The scenario is crucial,” she stated. “As of now, our defenders, management sure industrial and infrastructure services on this space.”

The developments in jap Ukraine got here as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Japan on Saturday for talks with the leaders of the world’s strongest democracies geared toward shoring up help for Ukraine’s protection in opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 15-month invasion of the nation. Bolstering worldwide help is a key precedence as Ukraine prepares for an anticipated main counteroffensive to retake territory seized by Russia.

The British Ministry of Protection stated on Saturday that Moscow gave the impression to be specializing in the battle round Bakhmut, the place combating has raged for greater than eight months. “Within the final 4 days, Russia has extremely doubtless redeployed as much as a number of battalions to strengthen the Bakhmut sector,” the ministry said.

“This follows Ukrainian tactical beneficial properties on the flanks of the contested Donetsk Oblast city by means of mid-Might and publicly aired doubts concerning the dedication of Wagner Group forces to proceed combating within the sector,” the ministry stated. “The redeployment represents a notable dedication by the Russian command,” it added.

“Russia’s management doubtless proceed to see capturing Bakhmut as the important thing instant warfare goal which might enable them to assert a point of success within the battle,” the British ministry stated.

Prigozhin stated his forces would pull out of Bakhmut in 5 days and hand the ruins of the town over to the common Russian navy, Reuters reported.


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