(Moscow) The head of the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian region of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, visited the center of Bakhmut, the epicenter for months of fighting in Ukraine and where the Russians seem to be advancing, according to a video published on Monday .
Mr. Pushilin posted these images on Telegram in which he is seen in combat gear in a square covered in debris, which from the visible buildings appears to be Freedom Square in central Bakhmout.
“Here is our Artiomovsk (Russian name for Bakhmout) being liberated by (the Russian paramilitary group) Wagner. The enemy is not sparing the city or his people, pushing them into a meat grinder,” he said in this short, undated video.
Ukrainian forces seem to have lost ground in the city center where several Russian war correspondents have visited in recent days and whose reports show a devastated city.
A city of some 70,000 inhabitants before the conflict, Bakhmout has been the scene of terrible fighting for months. Due to the length of the battle and the heavy losses suffered by both sides, this locality has become the symbol of the struggle between Russians and Ukrainians for control of the industrial region of Donbass.
Russian troops have advanced in recent months north and south of Bakhmut, cutting several Ukrainian supply routes and seizing its eastern part.
In recent days, they seem to be progressing in the center, again fueling speculation about a Ukrainian withdrawal to come.
“ In the Bakhmout sector, the enemy continues its offensive actions ”, limited itself to commenting the Ukrainian general staff, “ fierce fighting continues ”.
He also said Russian forces were continuing their repeated assaults on two other eastern towns, Marinka and Avdiivka, which the Kremlin has been hoping to take for months.