Russia’s Wagner group head Prigozhin claims full control of Bakhmut

The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Saturday claimed full control of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, the focus of the longest and bloodiest battle of the war.

Reuters could not independently confirm the claim. Prigozhin made it in a video in which he appeared in combat fatigues in front of a line of fighters holding Russian flags and Wagner banners.

“Today, at 12 noon, Bakhmut was completely taken,” Prigozhin said.

He said that his forces would withdraw from Bakhmut from May 25 for rest and retraining.

“We completely took the whole city, from house to house,” he said.

Distant explosions could be heard in the background as Prigozhin spoke during the video.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine.

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