According to their own statements, the Russian mercenary group Wagner has as good as surrounded the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. “The paramilitary Wagner units have practically surrounded Bakhmut,” says Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin via video via his press service. “Just one street” is still under Ukrainian control. Prigozhin appeals to Zelensky to give up the city. “Where we used to fight against a professional army, now we increasingly see old people and children,” Prigozhin claims in the video, which was filmed from the roof of a building. “They are fighting, but their life expectancy in Bachmut is very short now, a day or two (…) Give them a chance to get out of town.” The video then shows an old and two younger men.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian side insists that Bakhmut will continue to be defended. “Yes, it’s difficult and tough, but we know how to proceed,” Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov told the RBK-Ukraina portal. A Ukrainian reconnaissance unit that works with drones has been ordered to withdraw, according to its commander. The veracity of Prigozhin and Danilov’s statements cannot be independently verified.