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Intense battles are taking place in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk Oblast, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on June 8, amid reports that Ukraine's much-anticipated counteroffensive to regain territory is now underway.
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Ukraine's Third Assault Brigade confirmed on May 9 that the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces has fled Bakhmut.

The news, prior to the confirmation, was originally announced by Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin.

"Prigozhin's report about the escape of the 72nd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces from Bakhmut and the '500 corpses' of Russians who remained there is true. The Third Assault Brigade is grateful for the publicity of our success at the front," the Third Assault Brigade wrote.

According to the statement, assault troops killed 64 Russian soldiers during offensive operations in the southwestern outskirts of Bakhmut.

Additionally, "another 87 were on the way," the statement read. Among the casualties were Wagner mercenaries. Five Russian soldiers were also captured.

Bakhmut has been the epicenter of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces for the past nine months.

Wagner mercenaries have served as the primary shock troops in Russia's attempts to expand its control over Donetsk Oblast. However, in the past nine months, they have only made incremental gains, with Ukraine still holding parts of the city.

Wagner a ‘shadow of what it once was’: Russia security expert on the rage of mercenary boss Prigozhin
After seeming to have calmed down over early spring, the internal conflict between Wagner mercenary group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Russian Defense Ministry has escalated dramatically. In the early morning of May 5, Prigozhin recorded a video in front of what he claimed to be the bodies of doz…
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