Putin Says Strategic City of Bakhmut Captured, Congratulates Troops
President Zelenskyy insists Bakhmut “not occupied.”
Russia claims to have fully captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut after months of intense fighting. President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian armed forces and the Wagner private army, the mercenary group which played the central role in ground operations during the 8-month battle for the control of the strategic city in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Russian state media reported Saturday.
The Russian claims were supported by some Western sources. “Moscow has captured ‘99.9% of geographic boundaries’ of Bakhmut,” the TV channel Sky News reported Sunday citing a source close to British intelligence. “Soldiers of the Wagner mercenary group have been filmed raising Russian flags in Bakhmut after claiming control of the city,” the UK broadcaster added.
Footage of Russian Wagner Forces raising flags over Bakhmut, after an attack that lasted over nine months. pic.twitter.com/lnRLsuPmbE
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) May 20, 2023
The Sky News reported Russian President’s claims:
Vladimir Putin has congratulated the Wagner Groups of mercenary fighters and the Russian army today for what he called the “liberation” of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
In a statement published on the Kremlin website, the Russian leader said the battle – the longest and bloodiest of the 15-month war – had ended in a Russian victory, and that all those who had excelled in it on Moscow’s side would be given state awards.
“The head of state congratulated Wagner’s assault groups, as
well as all members of the units of the Russian Armed Forces who provided them with the necessary support and cover on their flanks, on the completion of the operation to liberate Artyomovsk [the Russian name for Bakhmut],” the statement said.
On Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared to admit the Russian control over the city. “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Bakhmut was “only in our hearts,” hours after Russia’s defense ministry reported that forces of the Wagner private army, with the support of Russian troops, had seized the city in eastern Ukraine,” the Associate Press reported.
The Ukrainian leader later walked back those remarks, saying that the city was not yet fully under Russian control. “President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday insisted that the east Ukrainian city Bakhmut — which Moscow claimed to have captured a day earlier — was “not occupied”,” the France24 TV channel reported.
The Euronews reported Kyiv’s response:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Russian forces weren’t occupying Bakhmut, casting doubt on Moscow’s claims that the eastern Ukrainian city has fallen.
Responding to a reporter’s question about the status of the city at the Group of Seven meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, Zelenskyy said: “Bakhmut is not occupied by the Russian Federation as of today”.
Why Bakhmut matters?
Beside its symbolic significance (In December, President Zelensky presented the U.S. Congress with a Ukrainian flag signed by the defenders of Bakhmut), the fall of city could solidify Russia’s hold over Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
Bakhmut, with its underground salt mines, provided Ukrainian forces with natural defense against the invading Russian military. Though the actual death toll is hard to come by, but both sides could have lost tens of thousands of soldiers in the eight months of fighting.
Bakhmut offers logistical advantage to the Russian forces if they plan to advance further. “A regional transport and logistics hub, Bakhmut would be useful for Russian forces although that depends on how much of its infrastructure is intact,” the Reuters news agency reported early April. “More importantly, it would provide a stepping stone for Russia to advance on two bigger cities it has long coveted in the Donetsk region: Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.”
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The Terrorist invaders have demolished a city and called it a victory.
Forcing your opponent off the contested area is a win. If you disagree with the heavy handed tactics employed by Russia you had a decade to decry similar sorts of tactics employed by Ukraine in the Donbas against the majority ethnic Russian population.
There are zero good guys in this conflict.
A Pyrrhic victory is technically a victory. They aren’t desirable though.
The Donbas was Russian troops and Russian controlled fighters. It was a Russian war against Ukraine not a civil war or Ukrainian tyranny.
Stalingrad didn’t look too pretty after it was lost to the Russian armies, neither did Berlin. Very stupid comment worhty of a F grade. BTW, the muscians (PMC Warner) found millions of rounds of ammo, tens of thousands of rifles and weapons, and 6,000,000 bottles of sparkinlg wine stored in the mines.
The Kool-Aid crowd will tell you you’re a pal of Putin’s if you point the facts out. The only pals of Putin I see are the knuckle dragger willing to sell out of future generations for the slime they keep electing.
The trick will be to prevent being surrounded.
Biden being so weak and evil has caused this
I believe President Trump when he said they are not telling us the truth about the number of killings. Entire cities are being flattened, all that history, how many people weren’t able to get out
The world needs a strong AMerica
It’s a shit show now, America and the world
Biden gained the conflict by continuing the same policy Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton had of walking all over Russia’s red lines.
Trump’s policy was also NATO talks in Ukraine, back military suppression of the Russian majority in Donbass (including by heavy handed bombardment of cities) and major unprovoked economic warfare against Russia. Trump even had Biden’s policy of not implementing the Ukrainian agreements of the Minsk accords.
I hate to break it to you but a policy that was the same under the two presidents are the reason Putin went to war.
If Trump was president he would be doing exactly the same as Biden, and with the same results because nobody is crazy enough to send in American troops to start the end of humanity by launching of massive nuclear arsenals.
Such a complicated history, of which most of us don’t know much.
I still don’t understand the lack of call for peace talks from the current administration………Does it not want peace???
No war, no arms shipments.
No arms shipments, no kickbacks.
No kickbacks, no laundered 10%.
This is the third time he’s announced its “capture”, without it having been “lost” in between.
What they actually did was go from about 90% control of the urban center to about 95%.
What they did not do was regain any of the 1 1/2 miles on the outskirts, oart of the city, that Ukraine gained two weeks ago when they routed an entire Russian brigade.
Small potatoes – all of it. 6 months Rissia’s been trying to capture tgis one small city of very limited value, and they still don’t have all of it.
At this rate, Russia will “win” sometime in the year 3647.
Ukraine will run out of cannon fodder to provide for their neocon pay masters long before then.
As much as you’d like that to be true it has been Russia that’s scraping the bottom of the barrel to find people to force to the front.
Also Russia that’s desperately short on ammo. This case highlights it: The head of Wagner group threatened to pull out of Ukraine entirely because he wasn’t getting ammo. Putin caved and sent him ammo, which meant the Russian regulars did NOT get supplied.
Result? Russian army brigade got routed and Ukraine advanced a mile and a half, meanwhile Wagner group advanced half a klick inside the city.
What I know to be true is that sooner the Ukrainian people, as opposed to their grifter govt, stop being willing pawns of the neocons the better off the people of Ukraine will be.
The Ukrainians are unlikely to push the Russians out of their gains in the Donbas. Certainly not without significant assistance from the US which may not be forthcoming. Especially so in light of the current budget/debt ceiling issues; seems an easy way to save some funds. Most of us would prefer to secure our borders before we worry about borders in Europe.
Ukraine is short of ammo and people. They keep expending them in these 1915-like “offensives” that I’m assured on a nearly daily basis are “decisive breakthroughs,” and yet they really are not. Ukraine has also lost a lot of its artillery, prompting NATO to raid it’s own reserves to replace them.
Both sides have taken heavy casualties. But Russia has a much larger manpower pool than Ukraine does, which does not bode well for a protracted conflict. In the meantime, much of the reporting (if not most) remains of the “Ukraine is winning! Russia is on its last legs!” variety and can’t be trusted.
On the cointrary, the Russian military has performed brilliantly and has defeated not just Ukraine but NATO as well. The Russians fell back and built defensive fortifications that the Ukrainians have assualted without success over the past year. Menawhile, the Ukrainians and NATO forces have suffered more than a million casualties and Ukraine’s infrasturture has been nearly comepltely destroyed. NATO is out of both arms and options and I expect the Russians will advance to the Dnieper in a few weeks. The ony question is whether they advance to the Polish border. This is he Second NATIO disaster in less than 2 years and dwarfs the Afghan rout.
Defeat of Bakhmut is the fall of Donbass and Russia ends the NATO takeover of Ukraine.
“NATO takeover of Ukraine” – are you from some bizarro alternate universe where that’s what this is about?
Russia invaded a sovereign country for the sole purpose of conquering it.
You can despise the Democrat Party and its leadership while still supporting the victim in this conflict.
You forgot the US backed coup in 2014. and the expansion of NATO since the end of the cold war. When the Warsaw pact ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO was supposed to end, not expand
‘Russia invaded a sovereign country’. Now do Iraq.
There are no white hats in this conflict. The better course is a brokered peace instead of continuing a conflict which is destroying the infrastructure of Ukraine and killing it’s people. A conflict that Ukraine will not be able to win. The neocons sold Ukraine a bum steer and it’s people are paying the price. Just once it would be nice if all the War Pigs actually went to the front lines to the fighting instead of hiding out away from danger.
I suggest you not put on public display your complete ignorance of the history of this conflict and stop drinking the Kviv Kool Aid. Baghdad Bon, now employed in Kviv, is proud of you. Among other atrocities, the Kviv regime has been murdering Russians since 2014 with as many as 20,000 dead and countless wounded. Russia stepped in to put an end to this and our mutual enemies in Kviv. For a more detailedand authoritative answer I suggest you search for interviews of Col Douglas MacGfregor, especially the recent one with Don Trump, Jr.
“Wagner has made no advances. Wagner today captured no territory. We have captured all the territory we promised to capture, right up to the last centimetre,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said. “As we stated yesterday. We are handing over our positions to (Russia’s) Defence Ministry and on the 25th (of May) we are leaving the conflict zone.”
Sure sounds like DECLARE VICTORY and run away
Wagner PMC has been fighting under hellish conditions for months. They have proven themselves to be one of the best fighting forces in the world.
They deserve some R&R.
Hopeyou are not employed as amiitary analyst by the Pentagon. But then, I be this is type of advice they like to hear?
It’s merely a softer/happier version of Prigozhin’s earlier rants about walking away.
All the bleating about how long it took Russia to capture Artemovsk comes from folks who don’t understand the basics of warfare.
The basic goal of war is to destroy one’s enemy’s ability to fight. The Ukraine fell into Russia’s trap. It fed tens of thousands of its best men and equipment into a meat grinder. All Russia had to do is keep turning the crank.