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Ukraine Advances Towards Encircling Bakhmut As Russia Claims Capture Of The City


On Sunday, Ukraine advances towards encircling Bakhmut as Russia claims capture of the city, with the objective of encircling the war-torn eastern city. This development came after Moscow congratulated the Wagner private army and Russian troops for purportedly capturing Bakhmut.

Russia had claimed on Saturday that they had fully taken control of Bakhmut, potentially signaling the end of the longest and bloodiest battle in the 15-month conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin commended both his regular troops and the Wagner group for their role in this supposed victory.

Contradicting these claims, a senior Ukrainian general asserted on Sunday that Kyiv's forces still retained control over what he acknowledged as a relatively small part of Bakhmut. Nevertheless, this remaining control would allow them to enter the city when the circumstances warranted it.

In a Telegram post, General Oleksandr Syrskyi confirmed that Ukrainian forces were making progress against Russian forces in the suburbs of Bakhmut, bringing them closer to achieving a "tactical encirclement" of the city. Bakhmut, which was once inhabited by 70,000 people, has been the site of intense fighting for over nine months.

General Syrskyi, who leads Ukraine's ground forces, personally visited the front-line positions near Bakhmut on Sunday. He asserted that the Ukrainian troops were continuing their advancement along the outskirts of the city. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar also supported this claim, reaffirming that Ukrainian forces were making gains along the flanks of Bakhmut.

COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/ukraine-advances-towards-encircling-bakhmut-as-russia-claims-capture-of-the-city/ by Hilda Workman on 2023-05-22T20:25:14.960Z

According to Maliar's statement on Telegram:

Our forces have taken the city in a semi-encirclement, which gives us the opportunity to destroy the enemy. The enemy has to defend himself in the part of the city he controls.

- Ukraine Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar

Ukraine's Army Has "Semi-encircled” Bakhmut, Zelensky Denies Putin's Victory Claim, Russia Slams G7

According to Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar, Ukrainian troops were actively defending industrial and infrastructure facilities in the area and had managed to secure control over a portion of the high ground overlooking Bakhmut.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that the Russian offensive around Bakhmut persisted unabated in the last 24 hours, which included airstrikes on the city itself as well as the village of Ivanivske located on the western approach of Bakhmut.

Subsequently, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group, announced in an audio message on Telegram that his group had completed its objectives and would be withdrawing from the conflict zone within the coming days.

Prigozhin said:

Wagner today captured no territory. We have captured all the territory we promised to capture, right up to the last centimeter. As we stated yesterday. We are handing over our positions to (Russia's) Defense Ministry and on the 25th (of May) we are leaving the conflict zone.

- Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group

According to military analysts, Bakhmut is considered to have no significant strategic value. However, Moscow has asserted that capturing the city would serve as a precursor for further advancement into the industrial region of Donbas, which Russia claims to have annexed from Ukraine.

Zelensky Compares Bakhmut To Ruined Hiroshima

In the past week, Ukrainian forces have experienced significant progress on both the northern and southern flanks of Bakhmut, achieving their most rapid gains in six months. Russia has acknowledged facing certain setbacks in the area.

The objective of the Ukrainian forces has been to divert Russian troops from other parts of the front to Bakhmut, aiming to inflict heavy casualties and weaken Moscow's defensive positions elsewhere, in preparation for a major Ukrainian counteroffensive.

U.S. President Joe Biden has stated that Russia has suffered over 100,000 casualties in the fighting around Bakhmut. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has likened the destruction in the city to the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima during World War II. However, it's important to note that casualty figures and comparisons provided by leaders may not be independently verified at this time.

"I'll tell you openly: Photographs of ruined Hiroshima absolutely remind me of Bakhmut and other similar settlements. Nothing left alive, all the buildings ruined," he said as he attended a Group of Seven summit in the Japanese city on Sunday.

"Bakhmut has not been captured by the Russian Federation as of today. There are no two or three interpretations of this," he told reporters.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his video address on Sunday, emphasized the importance of their position, highlighting defense, security guarantees, the recovery of all territories and people, justice, and the implementation of their peace plan. Zelensky made the address aboard an aircraft, conveying the message that the world is attentive to their stance.

For Russia, capturing Bakhmut (referred to as Artyomovsk by Russia) would mark a significant victory, the first major one in the conflict in over 10 months.

The battle for Bakhmut has revealed a growing divide between the Wagner group, known for recruiting convicts from Russian prisons, and the regular Russian military. Over the course of two weeks, Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin has been releasing daily video and audio messages, often using profanity-laced tirades, denouncing Russia's military leadership.

During the G7 summit, leaders of the world's wealthiest democracies reiterated their commitment to supporting Ukraine and expressed their determination not to waver in their support.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who had a private meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in Hiroshima, expressed confidence that Kyiv would receive F-16 fighter jets from Western countries. Ukraine has been lobbying for these aircraft for several months.


President Biden acknowledged that F-16s would not have directly impacted the situation in Bakhmut but emphasized their significance in dealing with future challenges. He noted that the fighter jets could make a substantial difference in preparing for what lies ahead in the conflict.

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About The Authors

Hilda Workman

Hilda Workman - Hilda Workman is a licensed financial advisor with years of expertise in the industry. She has assisted a range of clients, from sole proprietors to large corporations, in reaching their financial objectives. She is informed about many different financial subjects, including tax preparation, investment planning and also in fashion. She believes that the best things are those that are imperfect.

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