The hotly contested Artemovsk (Bakhmut), located north of the city of Donetsk, has been the center of hostilities between Russia and Ukraine for months.
Head of Wagner Group Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday that Russian forces had fully gained control of Artemovsk.
“On May 20, 2023, today, at noon, Artemovsk was entirety taken,” Prigozhin announced in a video posted on Telegram.
According to him, from 25 May Wagner will start withdrawing its units for rest and retraining. The group’s fighters will also create “necessary defensive lines”.
Control over the city will be handed over to the Defense Ministry, Prigozhin explained. He thanked Generals Sergei Surovikin and Mikhail Mizintsev, who “made it possible to carry out this difficult operation”.
“And thanks to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin for giving us this opportunity and the high honor of defending our homeland,” Prigozhin stressed.
On May 19, the Russian Defense Ministry said that Ukraine lost up to 130 military and mercenaries in the Donetsk direction, and over 70 soldiers in the Artemovsk direction in the past 24 hours.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on May 5 that a bridge near Chasov Yar, which the Ukrainian military had used in attempts to supply soldiers in Artemovsk with ammunition and deploy additional troops, has been destroyed.
View on destroyed buildings on Liberty Square, center of Artemovsk – Sputnik
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Artemovsk is north of the large city of Gorlovka.
The city is an important transport hub with many crossroads for Donbass and served as a vital center for supplying Ukrainian troops stationed in the region at the beginning of the military operation launched by Russia in Ukraine over a year ago.
Republished by The 21st Century
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