Ukraine’s military denied on Saturday that Russia's Wagner private military unit had taken full control of the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut and said its troops were continuing to fight there.
“This is not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut,” military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi told Reuters after the head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said his forces had taken full control of the city.
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Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the situation in Bakhmut was critical, with the Ukrainian troops maintaining a defense in the southwestern part of the city.
“Heavy fighting in Bakhmut. The situation is critical,” she said on the Telegram messaging app. “As of now, our defenders control some industrial and infrastructure facilities in the area and the private sector.”