Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary company Wagner Group, has claimed full control of the embattled eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmurt, a claim denied by Ukraine.
“As of noon local time on the 20th, Bakhmut is completely under our control and we have captured the entire city, building by building,” Prigozhin said in a video released on the same day, according to Reuters and AFP.
Dressed in combat fatigues, he stood in front of soldiers carrying Russian and Wagnerian flags, and even as he spoke, explosions could be heard in the distance, Reuters reported.
Ukraine denied Prigozhin’s claims, but acknowledged that the situation was not good메이저놀이터.
“Heavy fighting is taking place in Bakhmut,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said in a telegram, adding that the situation was serious.
“At the moment, our defense forces control part of the city’s industry and infrastructure,” she added.
Bakhmut, in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Oblast, has been the scene of the country’s longest-running fighting since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.
Wagner Group mercenaries have been waging a logistical offensive to capture the city for the past 10 months, while Ukraine has been fighting a war of attrition to hold it.
In March, Prigozhin claimed to control 70 percent of Bakhmut, and last month it said it had captured the city’s administration building.
Ukraine has denied Prigozhin’s claims each time, but it has been losing control of Bakhmut over time.