Russians ‘destroyed everything’ in Bakhmut: Ukraine’s Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the city of Bakhmut has been “completely destroyed” by Moscow’s Wagner private army, backed by Russian troops, after a bloody eight-month battle.

“They destroyed everything,” Zelenskyy said on Sunday, speaking at the G7 summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.However, his spokesman earlier on Sunday denied reports attributed to the Ukrainian president that the besieged eastern Ukrainian city was captured by the Russian forces.

“Reporter’s question: Russians said they have taken Bakhmut,” Sergii Nykyforov wrote on Facebook. “President’s reply: I think no.”

He added in Ukrainian: “In this way, the president denied the capture of Bakhmut.”

“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 of Artemovsk was completed,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

In a Kremlin statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have congratulated the assault units and support servicemen of units involved in the battle for the city.

Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin had posted a video earlier on the messaging app Telegram that showed Russian fighters in front of a ruined cityscape.

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