Conflicts & War

Ukraine claims significant territorial gains in besieged Bakhmut region

Kyiv/Moscow, May 12 (EFE).- Ukraine Friday claimed that it had made significant territorial gains in the vicinity of Bakhmut, an embattled eastern city currently under siege by Russian forces.

Moscow denied the claim even as Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, said Russian troops had abandoned their position and the defense ministry was lying.

Prigozhin’s fighters have been actively engaged in the fighting in and around Bakhmut for Russia.

Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian army, said the operation in Bakhmut was making progress, with Russian forces becoming increasingly depleted.

Cherevatyi specifically referenced the Wagner Group, which he claimed had failed to meet its objectives and deadlines.

According to Cherevatyi, even the replacement of Wagner troops with Russia’s regular forces has not turned the tide in favor of the besieging forces.

He added that the enemy troops are now “worn out, defeated, bleeding out.”

Cherevatyi said the Russian military is primarily composed of mobilized soldiers who lack motivation.

He said Ukraine’s recent gains had negatively impacted the confidence and motivation of these troops.

He claimed the Ukrainian forces had pushed the Russians back to a distance of up to 1.5 km.

“Bakhmut is holding on, and our defenders are destroying the enemy and chasing them.”

Earlier, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Ukrainian forces had pushed back Russian forces by up to 2 kilometers in Bakhmut.

However, Russia disputed the claim, asserting that its forces had successfully repelled a Ukrainian offensive in the same area.

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesperson for the defense ministry, stated that Russian troops had regrouped to take up more strategically advantageous positions near Bakhmut.

According to Konashenkov, the move was made to increase stability and take advantage of favorable conditions near the Berkhivka reservoir.

“The ‘Southern’ group of Russian troops occupied the line in the Maloilyinovka direction,” Konashenkov said.

But Prigozhin said the Russian claims were not true.

“What Konashenkov said, unfortunately, is called fleeing, not regrouping,” said the head of the Russian private military company.

“You must immediately stop lying,” Prigozhin told the Russian military leaders. “If you fled, you must prepare new defensive lines.”

He said what was happening in Berkhivka meant that the Ukrainians were approaching Bakhmut.

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