Russia’s Prigozhin Claims Bakhmut Occupation, Ukraine Claims Fighting Continues


Evgeny Prigozhin said on Saturday that Wagner fighters had completed the capture of Bakmut, but Ukraine rejected the claim, saying fighting was still ongoing.

Prigozhin made this claim in a video in which he appeared in combat uniform in front of a line of fighters carrying Russian and Wagner flags.

“Today at noon Bakmut was completely occupied,” Prigozin said. “We completely occupied the whole city from house to house.”

Ukrainian military spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told Reuters: “This is not true. Our troops are fighting in Bakhmut.”

Bakhmut has been the focus of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Ukrainian war.

Prigozhin said in the video that his army would withdraw from Bakhmut from May 25 for rest and retraining, handing over command to the Russian regular army.

Prigozhin mocked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and US President Joe Biden at the G7 Summit in Japan on Saturday. The war in Ukraine was the top concern of world leaders at this summit.

His declaration of victory came after heavy fighting around the city last week that Ukraine claimed pushed back some Russian forces.