The latest bulletin of the Russian army on field developments in Ukraine, today, Monday, was devoid of any indication that the Wagner Group had made any progress in Bakhmut, despite the assertion of the head of this pro-Moscow armed group that his fighters had taken control of the city’s administrative building.
And on Sunday night-Monday, Wagner’s chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, announced on Telegram that his forces had raised the Russian flag and the flag of his paramilitary group over the city hall in the city in eastern Ukraine, which has been the focus of fighting for months.
“In the legal sense, Bakhmut has been taken over. The enemy is concentrated in the western regions,” Prigozhin said.
Prigozhin appears in a video he confirms was taken near the administration building in Bakhmut
However, the spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, did not mention any progress of the Russian forces in Bakhmut, nor did he even mention the name of this city, during his daily press report.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian Army General Staff confirmed that its forces repelled the Russian attacks in Bakhmut.
Ukraine said today that Russian forces were “very far” from controlling the city of Bakhmut in the east of the country, and that fighting raged in the vicinity of the city’s administration building.
A spokesman for the Eastern Ukrainian Military Command told Reuters that the place where Russian forces raised their flag is not known, and that they falsely claimed to have captured the city.
“They raised the flag … in an unknown place, hung a piece of cloth and said they have taken the city. Well, let them think they have taken it,” spokesman Serhiy Cherivati said by phone.
Bakhmut witnessed one of the bloodiest battles in the war, which entered its second year, as heavy losses occurred on both sides, and bombing operations destroyed a large part of the city.
Cherivati said: “There are battles around the city council building (Bakhmut), they did not seize anything in the legal sense.”
He added, “Bakhmut is Ukrainian and they did not seize anything, and they are very far from achieving that in a more precise sense.”