Russia claims Bakhmut under its control, Zelensky contradicts

The longest and bloodiest of the battles has been continuing in the city of Bakhmut which Russia has been struggling to control. Russia recently claimed that the city is finally under its control  which has been rebuffed by the Ukrainian President .  

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war since February last year clearly does not seem to be coming on halt anytime soon. The battle has already claimed many lives and properties and has deployed millions of refugees to neighboring countries. 

Source: AP
Ukrainian soldiers fire a cannon near Bakhmut, where intense artillery battles have left the city and surrounding land scarred by months of war.

Wagner Paramilitary Group founder Yevgeny Pirozgohin recently claimed in a released video to have full control over the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Wagner for its control over the territory, which the Russian army has been desperately struggling to bring under control since August.

The Russian defense ministry bolstered the spirit of Wagner and its units stating that they collectively have completed the ‘liberation’ of the city.

The Russian attack on Bakhmut was led by the Wagner Paramilitary group and it has been a continuing struggle between the two factions as Ukraine has battled back strongly. The analysts have been asserting that the territory is of little strategic importance to Moscow.

Ukraine denies Russian claim about Bakhmut but asserts that situation is ‘critical’

After the claim raised by Wagner founder and Putin’s congratulatory comment to the paramilitary group, Ukraine has repudiated the claim defiantly. Moments after Moscow’s claim over the Bakhmut, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Hannah Maliar wrote, “Heavy fighting in Bakhmut. The situation is critical.”, on the online messaging platform, Telegram.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a news conference at the Group of Seven nations’ summit in Hiroshima, western Japan, May 21, 2023.

This is not the first time that Moscow has claimed to have control over the territory of Bakhmut. In April this year, Wagner founder Pirozgohin had announced to have Bakhmut under Russian control in ‘legal sense’, which was later contradicted by the Ukrainian forces. 

After his claims of winning Bakhmut, he also promised to hand over the territory to regular Russian troops in the posted video on Saturday, where sounds of huge explosions can be heard in the background.

 The Russian claim was also snubbed strongly by the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky when he was asked about the status of Bakhmut by the reporters at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

On the reporter’s question Zelensky asserted that the eastern Ukrainian city, Bakhmut is still under Ukraine’s control and belongs to it and the claims made by the Russian officials and Wagner paramilitary group that the city had fallen is based on falsehood and holds no truth to the statement. 

Also the Ukrainian military’s general staff said that the battle on the Bakhmut ground is still continuing, falsifying Russian claims.

Continuous comments from both sides of the faction on Saturday and afterwards created confusion around the actual situation of Bakhtum with both sides making contradictory claims. 

Earlier, Zelensky comment on a reporter’s question created chaos over the situation as he tried to answer the asked question in English where his words misaligned his intentions and also the claims of Ukrainian forces.

While replying in English, he was understood to be suggesting that the city of Bakhmut has fallen to Russian forces and he was assumed to be melancholic about the overall situation of the city.

Zelensky’s prior statement was later cleared by his press secretary.

Zelensky abrupt visit to Japan to join world leaders 

The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima, Japan at the G7 meet scheduled for this year. His stop in Japan was not announced officially but  was organized hastily as per claims.

Source: Reuters

With G7 leaders’ strong condemnation against “China’s coercion”, Zelensky turned the light on Russian ongoing brutalities on the Ukrainian soil.

The leaders at the meeting stood with Zelensky in support of his country’s battle against Russia. The US President Joe Biden announced $375 million in aid for Ukraine, which included more ammunition, artillery and vehicles.


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