Zelensky: Bakhmut not fully captured by Russia

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that Bakhmut is not under full control of the Russian military; Ukrainian troops are still within the city limits, he said during a G7 summit in Japan, quoted by Ukrayinska Pravda.

“Our servicemen are carrying out very important objectives now, they are in Bakhmut, I cannot be more specific, but the city is not captured by the Russian Federation. There could be no other interpretations,” Ukraine’s leader said.

Yevgeny Prigozhin of PMC Wagner denies this.

“There is not a single Ukrainian serviceman in Bakhmut now since we do not take any prisoners anymore. There are a great number of their dead bodies, though. Bakhmut has been captured fully in its formal borders, every inch of it. [Zelensky] is either being dishonest or, just like our military leaders, is simply unaware of what’s going on. This might be this way,” he said in a comment for reporters.

Earlier today, Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the matter in a way that 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.”

Serhiy Nikiforov, Zelensky’s spokesman, also stated that his boss did not confirm the loss of Bakhmut, as per CNN.

“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.”

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.

The Russian Defence Ministry reported capturing Bakhmut earlier today.

“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.

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