This is the closest thing to a victory that Russia can display on the Bakhmut front. The leader of the Wagner mercenary group, Evgeny Prigozhin, proclaims in the middle of the night, waving a Russian flag, that his men have taken over the town hall building. It is the “take on Bakhmut in the legal sense” he claims in the video, dedicating it to the Russian military blogger murdered on Sunday in a cafeteria in Saint Petersburg.
Ukraine has acknowledged small Russian advances on some points, but claims it is still in control of the city and that morale at the front is high…
“It is very moving that people continue to resist. We rest here from time to time.” We wash to the bottom of the front line. We shower, well at least it’s a quick wash,” says a Ukrainian soldier.
Bakhmut is a ghost town after months of fighting between Russian forces and the Ukrainian defense, which consider it to be of great symbolic value. The longest battle of the war has already left thousands dead on both sides.