Pro-Russian Denis Pushilin and Russian-appointed interim leader in Donetsk region stated on Monday that Bakhmut is not fully “liberated” as the Russian troops control 75% of the city, so the statements of the leader of the Wagner mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin that the city “has fallen” are not so accurate.
According to Prigozhin, it persists that Wagner commanders are about to hoist the Russian flag and the banner of their military organization on the administrative building. Several months ago, the Russian chief blamed “the war bureaucracy” for the delays in seizing Bakhmut, promising the Kremlin that he would capture the city in mid-April.
Pushilin added that the goal of Russian soldiers was to push Ukrainian forces far enough away to ensure the safety of Donetsk and prevent them from suffering serious attacks. “I can say with absolute certainty that our units control more than 75 percent of the city,” he told local media.
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Last week uncertainty around the town of Bakhmut, in the Donestk as the head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the city was taken by his troops, while Kyiv dismissed this claim of Vladimir Putin’s man. Yet the Ukrainian Ground Forces commander, Oleksandr Syrskyi, said that the invading troops were weakening on the eastern front, so the Russians would be “trying to cover up their failures” with lies about the seizure of this Ukrainian city.
Meanwhile, the dispute over Bakhmut remains between Russian forces and Ukrainian defenders amid confusion over the city’s power and preparations by the Kyiv Armed Forces to counterattack Moscow’s ranks. Recently Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that all temporarily occupied territories would be liberated as soon as the counter-offensive of his Army started.
Even the Ukrainian leader sent a clear message to the invading Kremlin troops: you are still in time to leave or we will destroy you if you do not retreat. “I cannot say when we will be ready for concrete things (…) Although we are preparing to be strong in battle and to vacate our land,” the Ukrainian president said.