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General Staff: Bakhmut remains 'epicenter' of fighting
There were 25 clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces along the front line on May 22, including Bakhmut, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces reported in its evening update.
Bakhmut and Maryinka remain the "epicenter" of fighting, according to the General Staff.
After a 10-month-long siege, Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed complete control of Bakhmut on May 21.
The Kyiv Independent reported on May 22 that Bakhmut had effectively been occupied by Russian troops. While it has yet to be confirmed by the Ukrainian government, it is evident based on both official statements and those made by soldiers on the ground to the Kyiv Independent.
However, Ukrainian forces are still engaged in combat around Bakhmut, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on May 22. Ukrainian forces seem to be gaining initiative on the flanks of the city, threatening to encircle the occupying Russian forces.
Additionally, the General Staff wrote on May 22 that Ukrainian forces carried out eight air strikes on May 22 in areas with concentrations of Russian forces and military equipment, as well as two air strikes against anti-aircraft missile complexes.
Three areas with concentrations of Russian military equipment, three ammunition depots, 11 artillery systems, and a radar station were hit.