Moscow (BLAZETRENDS).- The Russian Ministry of Defense officially reported the capture of Bakhmut and Russian President Vladimir Putin today congratulated the group of Russian mercenaries Wagner and the Russian Army for the end of the operation in this Ukrainian city.
“On the Artiomovsk front (Russian name for Bakhmut), as a result of the offensive actions of the Wagner assault groups with the support of the artillery and aviation of the Southern group of the Russian Army, the liberation of Artiomovsk was concluded,” Defense reported in a note posted on Telegram.
The Kremlin published a telegram with Putin’s congratulations to the Wagners and the Russian regular forces that participated in the capture of the city.
“Vladimir Putin congratulates the Wagner assault groups, as well as all the military units of the Russian Army who offered them the necessary support and flank protection, for the purpose of the operation for the liberation of Artiomovsk”, indicated the press service of the Kremlin.
According to the Russian Presidency, “all the soldiers who stood out (in the operation) will be decorated.”
This Saturday, the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgueni Prigozhin, announced the seizure of the Ukrainian city, besieged for 10 months by his paramilitary units.
Prigozhin pointed out that “the operation for the capture of Bakhmut, ‘Bajmut’s meat grinder,’ lasted 224 days.”
kyiv immediately denied that its forces were leaving the city: Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar stated that “heavy fighting” continues although she admitted that “the situation is critical.”
Zelensky says he believes Bakhmut is ‘not’ held by Ukraine
The president of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, said this Sunday that he believes that Bakhmut is “no longer” in the power of Ukraine, but his statements were ambiguous and he downplayed the strategic importance of the city, assuring that “nothing” remains and that its buildings have been “destroyed”.
Zelenski made these statements in a meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima (Japan) and when asked by the press if Bakhmut was still in Ukrainian hands.
“I don’t think so,” Zelensky replied and, addressing the journalist who asked him, he added: “What you must understand is that there is nothing, they have destroyed all the buildings. For now, Bakhmut only exists in our hearts. There is nothing. Well, a lot of dead Russian soldiers, but they came for us.”
Zelensky expressed his gratitude to the Ukrainian soldiers who have fought against the Russian troops for eight months in the city of Bakhmut, which before the war had about 80,000 inhabitants and is about 55 kilometers from the capital of the Donetsk region.
“Our defenders in Bakhmut did a strong job and, of course, we appreciate the great job they have done,” said the Ukrainian leader.