National

Putin congratulates the troops after Russia claims to have captured Bakhmut, the epicenter of the fighting in Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin thanked his soldiers and the private mercenary organization Wagner as Russia announced on Saturday that it had taken control of the battleground city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
After conceding that the situation was “critical” and that the war was still going on, Kyiv made its declaration. At the same time, Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky was meeting with G7 leaders in Japan.
The longest and deadliest combat in Moscow's more than year-long Ukraine invasion has taken place in Bakhmut, a salt-mining town with a former population of 70,000.
Moscow would be able to claim a significant win after a string of humiliating setbacks with the fall of Bakhmut, where both Moscow and Kyiv are said to have suffered significant casualties.
Additionally, it would occur just before a significant counteroffensive that Kyiv has been planning for months. Zelensky himself issued a warning that if the city fell, Russian forces would be able to occupy further areas of Donbas.
Russia's defense ministry used the Soviet-era moniker Bakhmut to refer to the liberation of Artemovsk: “As a result of offensive actions of the Wagner assault units, with the support of artillery and aviation of the 'Southern' unit, the liberation of the city was completed.”
A Kremlin statement was cited by the TASS news agency as stating that “Vladimir Putin congratulated the assault units of Wagner as well as all servicemen of units of the Russian armed forces who provided them with the necessary support and flank cover, on the completion of the operation to liberate” the city.
Earlier, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, said in a Telegram video with soldiers holding Russian flags against a background of wreckage that the city had been taken by his mercenaries.
Prigozhin said in the video, “Today, May 20, at noon, Bakhmut was seized in its entirety. Wagner fighters will examine the occupied city before turning it over to the Russian army.
By May 25, we will have thoroughly examined Bakhmut, put in place the required defenses, and given it to the military, according to Prigozhin. “We'll set up field camps for ourselves.”
The video by Prigozhin had background artillery noise.
BAKHMUT WILL BE FREED
Despite this month's achievements in and around Bakhmut, Ukraine had previously declared that the conflict was not yet won.
The battle in Bakhmut is fierce. The situation is severe, said Ganna Malyar, the deputy minister of defense, in a Telegram message.
She said that Ukrainian forces were “holding the defense” in the “Airplane area” of the city.
As of right moment, our defenders are in charge of certain infrastructure and industrial assets in the region, she added.
AFP was unable to independently verify either allegation.
The city's surrender was declared by Russia a few hours before Zelensky and US President Joe Biden met on Sunday at the G7 conference in Japan.
A senior administration source said that Biden, who has led Western support for Ukraine via sanctions and supplies, “looks forward” to the meeting, which is anticipated to happen around 2:00pm (0500 GMT) on Sunday.
A day after attending the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, Zelensky made a surprise appearance at the meeting in Hiroshima on Saturday.
The Ukrainian president, who arrived on a French government aircraft, had the opportunity to meet not only G7 leaders but also those from other significant international actors, including Brazil and India, two non-aligned nations.
His diplomatic efforts have already paid off, as the US announced on Friday that it will let Kiev to purchase F-16 fighter fighters, the most advanced equipment the West has ever provided.
MOSCOW ANNOUNCED BY ICC WARRANT
In the meanwhile, Prigozhin persisted in his ongoing conflict with the Russian military establishment.
“The operation to capture Bakhmut — the Bakhmut meat grinder — lasted 224 days,” Prigozhin remarked while donning a camouflage outfit. If not for inept generals, he said, Moscow's losses would have been far lower.
Wagner, which led the battle for Bakhmut, is said to have sustained significant casualties during the protracted siege of the city. Wagner was not provided with enough ammo, as Prigozhin has frequently lamented.
He remarked in the video, “There was just Wagner here (in Bakhmut). “We fought the Russian bureaucracy here, not just the Ukrainian army.”
He accused Valery Gerasimov, the head of the general staff, and Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defense, of using the attack for “their own amusement”.
The two sides are now anticipating a counteroffensive that Ukrainian authorities, who are supported by Western weaponry shipments, have declared. Zelensky recently said that additional time is required before his army launches the attack.
On Saturday, the International Criminal Court condemned Moscow's “unacceptable” action of placing ICC prosecutor Karim Khan on a wanted list due to his issuing of a warrant for Putin's arrest.
“The court will remain undeterred in the conduct of its lawful mandate to ensure accountability for the gravest crimes,” the Hague-based institution said.

Related posts

Vande Bharat train in Kerala pelted with stones | Kozhikode News – Times of India

Admin

Delhi: Amit Shah is the event's chair as the MHA's top officials conduct their "Chintan Shivir"

Admin

Virat Kohli says night after fight with Gautam Gambhir: ‘Not a fact, not the truth’ | Cricket News – Times of India

Admin

Virat Kohli vs Gambhir Fight: RCB’s win over LSG marred by fiery altercation | Cricket News – Times of India

Admin

Open Letter of Request for Assistance From Protesting Wrestlers To BJP Women MPs

Admin

"Sachin Pilot has not issued a party with an ultimatum." Harish Chaudhary is a congressman

Admin