‘Kiss Biden on his head’: Russia's Wagner chief mocks Zelensky on Bakhmut
Russia-Ukraine War: Prigozhin posted a video apparently from the frontline while his fighters held Russian flags and Wagner banners.
Russia's Wagner group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin announce that his fighters had completed the capture of Bakhmut. Although the claim was promptly denied by Ukraine with military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi saying, “This is not true. Our units are fighting in Bakhmut,” Prigozhin posted a video apparently from the frontline while his fighters held Russian flags and Wagner banners.
“Today, at 12 noon, Bakhmut was completely taken. We completely took the whole city, from house to house,” Prigozhin said. The battle for control over Bakhmut has been the longest and bloodiest fight in Ukraine. The Wagner group's chief said that his forces would withdraw from Bakhmut from May 25 for recoupment and hand over the control to the Russian army.
As Wagner chief made the announcement. Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky and US president Joe Biden met in Japan's Hiroshima on the sidelines of Group of Seven (G-7) summit. Taunting Volodymyr, Prigozhin said, "Today when you see Biden, kiss him on the top of his head, say hi to him from me."
For the Russian army, Prigozhin repeated his grievances saying that his forces suffered far heavier losses because of the inadequate support and ammunition supplies. Owing to the "whims" of Shoigu "five times more guys died than they should have", he said.
Earlier, UK intelligence noted that it was "highly likely" that Russia had deployed up to several battalions to reinforce Bakhmut sector. This represented a "notable commitment by the Russian command".
"Russia's leadership likely continue to see capturing Bakhmut as the key immediate war aim which would allow them to claim some degree of success in the conflict," it said.