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Wagner founder Prigozhin says his troops have taken Bakhmut; Kyiv denies it

Source: Meduza

Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin says that his troops have taken full control of Bakhmut.

Prigozhin released a video showing himself with Wagner fighters standing in a ruined Bakhmut neighborhood. He later promised to release “a full video of the hoisting of the [Russian] flags.”

Prigozhin says that Wagner Group took the last multistory building occupied by Ukraine’s Armed Forces around noon on May 20.

He adds that on May 25, Wagner Group will begin withdrawing its forces from the city “for rest and retraining.” Until then, they’ll create defensive lines in Bakhmut, and transfer the city to the control of Russian Defense Ministry troops. Wagner Group “will return when our help is needed,” said Prigozhin.

Prigozhin noted that the battle for Bakhmut lasted 224 days. He says the operation to capture the city was implemented “to allow the battered Russian army to recover.”

Kyiv denies Prigozhin’s claims of capturing the city, reports Reuters. 

“It’s not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut now,” said AFU spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi. 

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