Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy admitted on Sunday that Ukrainian forces had lost control over the city of Bakhmut, also known as Artyomovsk.
On Saturday, Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin said that Russian forces had gained full control over Bakhmut. The Russian Defense Ministry later confirmed that the liberation of the city had been completed.
“I think no … For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts,” Zelenskyy was quoted as saying by Reuters on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, when asked if the city is still under Kiev’s control.
Later in the day, Zelenskyy’s spokesman, Sergii Nykyforov, denied Bakhmut’s capture by Russian forces, claiming on social media that the Ukrainian president responded negatively to a reporter’s line “Russians said they have taken Bakhmut.”
Meanwhile, footage of Zelenskyy’s interaction with the reporter suggests the latter first asked a question if “Bakhmut is still in Ukraine’s hands,” before the sentence that Nykyforov cited.