Wagner Group Boss Claims Success in Seizing East Bakhmut Region
The boss of Russian mercenary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, claims his fighters have captured eastern Bakhmut. Photos/Illustrations/Insiders
KIEV – The leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says his fighters have captured all of eastern Bakhmut. The battle for Bakhmut was one of the bloodiest battles of the year-long war that took place amidst ruins.
“Everything east of the Bakhmutka River is completely under Wagner’s control,” Prigozhin said on Telegram as quoted by Al Jazeera, Thursday (9/3/2023).
As information, the city center is on the west side of the river that divides Bakhmut.
But Prigozhin’s claims cannot be verified. But if true, it means Russian troops now control nearly half the city in their bid to secure their first major victory in months.
As well as claiming the success of his fighters overrun eastern Bakhmut, Prighozhin also said European sanctions against the group “make sense” and he had no plans to fight them in court.
“Regarding the sanctions against me and the sanctions against PMC Wagner, I will not be against it and I believe that at the moment they are being fairly sanctioned,” he said in a statement.
He made the remarks after a European court lifted European Union sanctions against his mother, Violetta Prigozhina, who ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove she was linked to her son’s actions in Ukraine.
Wagner Group mercenaries have been heavily involved in the Russian operation to capture the town of Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk, an area which has been intensively bombarded for months.
“The most advanced and prepared elements of the Wagner paramilitary uniform have already fought in raid operations around the city,” said the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank.
ISW said Wagner’s mercenaries, along with the Russian armed forces, appeared to be preparing for a “countermovement”, which would force the Kiev forces to abandon their defensive positions in the devastated city.