Russian mercenaries have seized a village north of Bakhmut, Prigozhin claims

Russian mercenaries have seized a village north of Bakhmut, Prigozhin claims

Ruští mercenaries seized a village north of Bakhmut, claims Prigozhin

A Russian soldier with his equipment after training in Donetsk on January 31, 2023.

Moscow – Mercenaries of Russia's Wagner group, which Moscow has involved in the war in Ukraine, seized the village of Krasna Hora near the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region. This was stated today by the head of this paramilitary organization, Yevgeny Prigozhin. His claim could not be immediately verified by independent sources, but the Russian oligarch's team has nevertheless published footage on the Telegram social network that it claims shows members of Wagner's group in front of a sign on the outskirts of the village.

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“The assault units of Wagner's group captured the village of Krasna Hora today,” the AFP agency quotes from the statement of the head of Wagner's group. The mentioned village is located to the north of Bachmut, not far from the outskirts of the city, which has been the subject of bloody battles in recent weeks. Earlier reports indicated that the Russians were trying to encircle Ukrainian troops there, with Kiev repeatedly reporting repulsed attacks by the occupiers, including on Krasnaya Hora. Before the war, 600 people lived there, Reuters reported.

The Russian and Ukrainian authorities did not comment on the alleged shift of the queue in the first hours. In the afternoon, Julian Röpcke from the German newspaper Bild, who has been mapping developments in the east of Ukraine for a long time, shared the information about the capture of the village in the afternoon. According to him, the Russian invasion force seized another location important for the Ukrainian defense of Bakhmut.

Prigozhin's statement came two days after the publication of an interview in which the oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin speculated about the further development of the war. Among other things, he said that the Russian plan to take over the east of Ukraine could take a year and a half to two years. According to The Guardian, Prigozhin's statement is evidence that part of the command in Moscow is counting on a longer-lasting conflict.

The war could drag on for three years if Moscow decides to control all of the Ukrainian territory east of the Dnieper River , Prigozhin stated. He said this in an interview on the occasion of the approaching one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According toof the American Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Prigozhin's goal is to divert attention from his own causes and improve the deteriorating reputation of his mercenary force. The Kremlin is trying to back him and Wagner's entire group, among other things, by taking away Prigozhin's right to recruit fighters in prisons, ISW reports in Saturday's commentary on the interview. Reuters noted that Prigozhin has clashed in the past with the Russian Ministry of Defense, which he accused of trying to appropriate the achievements of the Wagnerites. on February 24. At the same time, however, they question the enemy's ability to carry out a successful offensive.

“The Russians have big problems with the big offensive, as they call it,” said Oleksiy Danilov, head of the Ukrainian Security Council. According to him, the announced Russian attack is far from proceeding according to plan, “the Russians have big problems” and the Ukrainian troops are successfully repelling them, Danilo is quoted by the Russian-language version of the BBC News server.