Putin congratulates troops on battlefield success
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the Wagner private military company and regular soldiers for liberating the Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut, from the Ukrainian Army, the Kremlin said in the early hours of Sunday.
Wagner chief Evgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday that his soldiers had taken full control of the city.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the capture of Artyomovsk several hours later.
According to the MOD, the operation was completed with an assault by Wagner fighters, who had artillery and air support from regular troops.
Ukraine, however, claims that the fighting for the city is not over.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reportedly conceded that Kiev had lost the city. When asked whether Ukraine was still in control of Artyomovsk, he replied “I think no.”
The salt mining city of Artyomovsk has been the scene of a fierce battle for many months as Russian forces methodically pushed Ukrainian units from the western suburbs. The city itself has been largely destroyed.