The owner of the wagner groupthe Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhinhas assured this Friday that his mercenaries have “practically surrounded” the Ukrainian city of Bakhmutlocated in the Donetsk region (east) and one of the main targets of the Russian military offensive in this area of the country.
“The divisions of the Wagner Group have practically surrounded Bakhmut, there is only one road left”, Prigozhin said in a message published by his press service, which is addressed to the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenskyas reported by the Russian news agency TASS.
Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliarannounced on Wednesday the decision to send reinforcements to Bakhmut –the scene for weeks of intense confrontations– before the recent Russian advances around a key town for the interests of the Kremlin in eastern Ukraine.
Russian troops have recently achieved significant advances by taking the enclaves bordering the town. Moscow places special strategic value on Bakhmut, since it is from there that most of the supplies that kyiv sends to its troops on the eastern front of the conflict leave.
Previously, a Ukrainian officer, identified by the name of “Magiar”, pointed out in Telegram that his unit had been ordered to fall back from Bakhmutwhere until now some 4,500 civilians of the more than 70,000 who lived in the city before the outbreak of the war.
Zelensky has declared that Ukrainian troops will defend Bakhmut “as long as it’s reasonable”Therefore, its withdrawal to defensive lines located to the west of the city is not ruled out.
Likewise, Ukraine assured that “it survived the hardest winter in its history”, despite the Russian bombings that left millions of people without electricity, a year after Moscow began its illegal invasion.
“We have overcome this winter. It was very difficult and every Ukrainian has experienced this difficulty, but we were able to supply Ukraine with energy and heating,” Zelensky said.
(With information from Europa Press and EFE)
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