Russia claims full control of the Ukrainian city of Bachmut. The Kremlin writes in a statement that President Putin congratulated the units that fought in the area. The soldiers involved will receive awards.
Earlier, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the boss of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, already claimed full control of the city in eastern Ukraine. Mainly Wagner troops are involved in the battle for the city.
At first, Ukrainian President Zelensky seemed to confirm Bachmut’s fall today at a press conference at the end of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan. Zelensky was asked whether the city was still in Ukrainian hands, to which he replied: “I don’t think so.”
See Zelensky’s statements about Bachmut below:
He went on to say that Bachmoet is “only in our hearts” and that there is nothing left of the town, which has been heavily fought over since August last year. Shortly after that press conference, a spokesperson for Zelensky clarified the president’s statements. According to the spokesman, Zelensky was responding to the question of whether the Russian claim is correct, and not to the question of whether Ukraine still has control over Bachmut.
Zelensky confirmed this in a later press conference in Japan. He emphasized that there are still Ukrainian soldiers in the city.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar previously denied that Bachmut is fully under Russian control, but called the situation in the city “critical”.
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. The eventual conquest of Bachmut is therefore primarily a symbolic victory for Russia, but will most likely change little in the broad outline of the war.
There are no independent figures on the number of victims of the months-long Battle of Bachmoet. According to the AP news agency, the number of casualties on both sides may be “in the thousands”.
- Military Aleksandr’s war diary: from Bachmoth to wedding
- ‘Our’ howitzers at the front are a challenge for the Ukrainian army
- Bachmoet holds out: ‘Ukraine is buying time for a counter-offensive’