Bakhmut: Zelensky says city is destroyed as Russia claims victory

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Bakhmut is completely destroyed – but has denied that Russia has won the bloody battle for the city.

Asked on Sunday whether his forces had control of the eastern Ukrainian city, Mr Zelensky said: “It’s a pity, it’s a tragedy, but for today Bakhmut is only in our hearts.”

His office later clarified that he had not said that the city had fallen.

The Wagner Russian paramilitary claimed to have captured the city on Saturday.

In a video its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin – posing with some of his fighters – said that his forces had control of the entire city.

On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had won the battle for Bakhmut, and that all troops who had excelled would get state awards.

But a spokesman for Ukraine’s Eastern Operational Command later told the BBC that Ukraine still controlled several buildings in the south-west of Bakhmut, and was preparing for a counterattack.

He said Ukraine’s position was “very difficult”…

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