In a video posted to Telegram, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said the city came under complete Russian control around noon on Saturday. He spoke flanked by about half a dozen fighters, with ruined buildings in the background and explosions heard in the distance.
However, after the video was released, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said heavy fighting continued.
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“The situation is critical,” he said.
“As of now, our defenders control some industrial and infrastructure facilities in this area.”
Serhiy Cherevatyi, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Eastern Command, told the Associated Press that Prigozhin’s claim “is not true. Our units are fighting at Bakhmut.”
Fighting raged around Bakhmut for more than 200 days.