According to the Ukrainian military, parts of the city of Bakhmut are still under its control. “Our soldiers have fortifications and some buildings in the southwest of the city,” Serhiy Chervaty, spokesman for Army Group East, said on Sunday on Ukrainian television. However, he admitted that the situation was critical and that there was heavy fighting.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday contradicted Moscow’s claims that the city largely devastated by destruction is now fully under Russian control. After his meeting with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Selinsky said: “Bashmut is not occupied by Russia today.” Previously, he himself had made confused statements about the military situation.
A reporter asked Zelensky at the G7 summit in Japan if Pakhmut was still in Ukraine’s hands. The Russians said that they had captured the city. The Ukrainian president replied: “I don’t think so.” The addition that Bashmut was present “only in our hearts” was taken by many as an admission that the city had already fallen. More than 70,000 people lived in Bashmut. There are only a few civilians left today. The information cannot be independently verified.
A spokesman for the Eastern Ukrainian Army Group, Serhiy Cherevatyg, later offered to help with interpretation: “The president said it right: the city was practically flattened.” However, the defenders continued to hold “fortifications and some buildings to the southwest of the city”. According to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malgar, the Ukrainians made further advances on the flanks of Bakhmut. The army controlled several mountain ranges, which made it difficult for the Russians to stay in the city.
Putin distributed the medals
On the other hand, Russia continued to claim on Sunday that it had captured the city. And on Saturday, the head of the Wagner Fighting Force in Bakhmut, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and then the Ministry of Defense announced the conquest. Kremlin President Vladimir Putin congratulated Wagner’s troops and their army. The Russian Armed Forces would have provided the necessary protection on the flanks. At the same time, he announced: “All distinguished fighters will be honored with state awards.”
The first pictures of the awarding of orders appeared Sunday in Russian media. She added that some awards were given directly at Bashmut. After being exiled to Kiev for capture, Prigozhin claimed that there was not a single Ukrainian soldier left in the city. “The last one ran across the street in women’s clothes an hour and a half ago – and we shot him.”
US President Biden avoided issuing a statement on the sidelines of the G7 summit on whether the city had been taken. But the Russians suffered “more than 100,000 casualties” at Bakhmut. “It’s hard to catch up,” Biden said. Not many buildings remain in Bashmut. The city has been largely destroyed.” The fact that both Kiev and Moscow wanted to achieve success speaks to the sentimental importance of the city. Selinsky declared it a “fortress” in winter. (SDA)
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