Russian MoD reports PMC Wagner fully capturing Bakhmut with support of regular military

Ukrainian General Staff says fighting continues

Russia’s Defence Ministry has reported taking Bakhmut under control, says the agency’s Telegram channel.

“In Artyomovsk tactical direction, as a result of offensive actions by Wagner assault units, supported by artillery and aviation of the Yug Group of Forces, the liberation of Artyomovsk has been completed,” reads the statement. Artyomovsk is the name the Russian side uses to refer to Bakhmut.

Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the matter in a way that for one confused many as he answered a question from a reporter for the Financial Times.

“Is Bakhmut still in Ukraine’s hands? The Russians say they’ve taken Bakhmut,” was the question, to which Zelensky replied: “I think no… But you have to understand that there is nothing… They destroyed it, there are no buildings.”

“His team tells me he was answering about the second part of the question,” Christopher Miller, the reporter, tweeted. “In this way, the president denied the capture of Bakhmut.”

Ukraine’s General Staff said in its morning bulletin fighting for the city had been on.

“The enemy continues to concentrate his main efforts on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka directions. In total, over the past day, there have been 53 clashes in the indicated sectors of the front, Bakhmut and Marinka remain at the epicentre of hostilities,” the statement reads.

The leader of PMC Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed yesterday that his mercenaries had managed to completely capture the city of Bakhmut.” The head of Wagner said that the city would be prepared to be handed over to the Russian military before 25 May.

Ukraine’s Defence Ministry refuted the claims about Russia’s capture of Bakhmut.

“There’s heavy fighting happening in Bakhmut. The situation is critical. Still, our troops are holding the line in the Samolet district. “As of today, our defenders are in control of some industrial and infrastructure facilities in this district and a private sector,” Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine Hanna Maliar said.

Spokesman of Ukraine’s Eastern Group of Forces Serhiy Cherevaty told Reuters that Prigozhin’s claim was untrue. “This is false. Our units are continuing to fight in Bakhmut,” he said.

The US-based Institute for the Study of War reports in its latest assessment that Prigozhin’s claimed victory over the remaining areas in Bakhmut was purely “symbolic even if true”.

“The last few urban blocks of eastern Bakhmut that Prigozhin claimed that Wagner Group forces captured are not tactically or operationally significant. Wagner forces are unlikely to successfully conduct a controlled withdrawal from Bakhmut while in contact with Ukrainian forces within five days without disrupting the Russian MoD’s efforts to prepare for planned Ukrainian counteroffensives,” reads the assessment.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.