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Ukrainian military downplays Wagner Group claims on Bakhmut capture

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 4, 2023 4:09 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian T-64 tanks move towards Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on March 20, 2023. (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi downplayed Wagner mercenaries' claim of allegedly raising the Russian flag over Bakhmut city hall, noting that it was already destroyed during fighting long ago.

"(Wagner Group founder Yevgeny) Prigozhin probably goes to Bakhmut because it is not safe for him in St. Petersburg right now. There, you see, restaurants are exploding... So he sets flags on buildings that have long since physically ceased to exist," Cherevatyi said while speaking on national television on April 4.

High-profile Russian propagandist killed in explosion in St Petersburg cafe
An explosion in a cafe in the center of St. Petersburg killed Russian propagandist and war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky and injured 15 other people on April 2, Russian media reported.

Cherevatyi's comment was in reference to the assassination of high-profile Russian propagandist Vladlen Tatarsky on April 2 in a cafe that reportedly once belonged to Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Prigozhin claimed on April 2 that Wagner had "legally taken" Bakhmut and that Wagner mercenaries had "successfully" raised the Russian flag over Bakhmut city hall.

Ukrainian officials denied the claims that Bakhmut had fallen, with President's Office Head Andriy Yermak urging the public to "calmly react to fakes inventing a victory, which does not exist in reality."

The battle for Bakhmut, a once prosperous industrial city in Donetsk Oblast, has been raging for the past eight months. Both Ukrainian and Russian forces have incurred heavy losses, but the city remains in Ukrainian control.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 1 – Why does Ukraine keep up costly defense of Bakhmut?
“This Week in Ukraine” is a video podcast hosted by Kyiv Independent’s reporter Anastasiia Lapatina. Every week, Anastasiia sits down with her newsroom colleagues to discuss Ukraine’s most pressing issues. Episode #1 is dedicated to Ukraine’s military strategy in Bakhmut, an embattled city in Donet…
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