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Russia’s Wagner group claims embattled Ukrainian city Bakhmut has fallen

A file photo of Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner Group, after hoisting the Russian flag in Ukraine's Bakhmut

Russia’s Wagner group has claimed that the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has fallen after months of intense combat.

Russia’s Tass News Agency is quoting founder of Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin as saying that the Russian flag has been hoisted over Artyomovsk , called Bakhmut in Ukraine.

“April 2, 23:00 precisely. Behind me is the building of [Artyomovsk’s] city administration. This Russian flag is for Vladlen Tatarsky, [the Russian military reporter killed in a blast in St. Petersburg on Sunday]. ‘In grateful memory,’ is written on this flag. Technically we have captured Bakhmut,” Prigozhin said as quoted by the Telegram channel of his press service.

Prigozhin added that the commanders of Russian units that captured the city hall and the entire central district “will carry and place the flags.” “The adversary remains in Western blocks,” he observed.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had earlier described Bakhmut as “an important defence node for Ukrainian forces” in the east.

“Taking it under control will make it possible to conduct further offensives deep into the Ukrainian armed forces’ defences,” he said in a statement.

Bakhmut can cut supply routes to Lysychansk, further to the northeast.

By dedicating Sunday’s gains in Bakhmut to Vladlen Tatarsky, the Wagner chief was referring to the bloody assassination of a journalist in St. Petersburg.

Tass quoted the Russian defence ministry’s press centre as saying: “At 6:13 p.m. on April 2, 2023, the police received information about a blast in Universitetsjaya Embankment 25. As a result, one person was killed. It was war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky. Sixteen people were wounded.”
At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he was known for posting daily videos titled Vecherny Vladlen, in which he analyzed the coruse of the operation.

Russian law enforcement agencies said that Valden was killed by an explosive devise, stuffed with striking elements, which detonated in a café.

Also Read: Russian Defence Minister visits Ukraine frontline as fall of Bakhmut appears imminent