Ukraine, Russia | Ukraine: Russian forces have replaced the Wagner forces in Bakhmut

Russia is trying to stop a Ukrainian advance near the eastern Ukrainian city, according to Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maljar.

She further says that the Wagner forces are still inside the city center in Bakhmut, but that the Russian forces have replaced them on the outskirts of the city.

The Wagner group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said earlier on Thursday that they have started to withdraw from Bakhmut, and that the forces from the Russian defense will take over.

Russian forces announced at the weekend that they had taken full control of Bakhmut, and President Vladimir Putin congratulated his forces and the Wagner forces on their victory in the city.

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However, Ukraine denied that Bakhmut had fallen. Maljar said on Monday that parts of the city were still under Ukrainian control and that Ukrainian soldiers were still in Bakhmut.

The Wagner leader has claimed that the group has lost over 20,000 soldiers in the battles for Bakhmut. The figures have not been verified by independent sources, and are far higher than the official estimates of just over 6,000 fallen soldiers on the Russian side.

The battles for Bakhmut have been the longest and bloodiest of the war in Ukraine. For almost ten months, since last summer, the Russians have tried to take the city, which many experts believe does not have a great strategic value.

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2023-05-25 10:03:27

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