AFP/Telegram @concordgroup_official Still image from video of Prigozhin claiming control of Bachmut
NOS Nieuws•morgen, 00:26
The Russian Defense Ministry says Russian troops have full control of the Ukrainian town of Bachmut. According to Russian news agencies, President Putin congratulated the units that fought in the area. The conquest of Russia is denied from the Ukrainian side.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar called the situation in the city “critical” yesterday. Earlier, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, already claimed full control of the city in eastern Ukraine.
Bachmoet has been the scene of heavy fighting for months. Although the city has little military value, the Ukrainian army defended the city tooth and nail. It is difficult to verify whether the city is actually in Russian hands. There are also no independent figures on the number of casualties due to the months-long battle. According to the AP news agency, the number of casualties on both sides may be “in the thousands”.
Russia still calls the city by the name it received in Soviet times: Artjomovsk. According to the Russian ministry, the city was “liberated” by Wagner’s troops and air assistance. According to Prigozhin, his troops will leave Bachmut from May 25 to take a rest. The city is then handed over to the Russian army.