Putin's thugs claim control over east of ravaged Ukrainian city amid fears rest could fall in days | The Sun

VLADIMIR Putin's thugs have claimed control over the east of a ravaged Ukrainian city amid fears the rest of the area could fall in days.

It comes as the leader of the Wagner mercenary group announced his fighters captured the eastern part of Bakhmut on Wednesday.

The Ukrainian military is now hanging on to positions and inflicting as many casualties as possible on enemy forces in a desperate attempt to grind down their fighting capability.

The General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces said: "The enemy, despite significant losses, continues to storm the town of Bakhmut."

Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as Putin's Chef and the head of Wagner, claimed his mercenaries had captured the city's east.

He said via Telegram: "Everything east of the Bakhmutka River is completely under the control of Wagner."


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If the warlord's claims are true, Russian forces would now control nearly half of Bakhmut.

The chilling update comes as NATO's leader predicted the rest of the city could fall to the invading army in the next few days.

Speaking before a European Union defence ministers conference, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia was throwing more troops into the battle.

He said: "They have suffered big losses but at the same time we cannot rule out that Bakhmut may eventually fall in the coming days.

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"This would not necessarily be a turning point in the war, he added, but it showed 'we should not underestimate Russia'."

It was just on Tuesday, that a Ukrainian National Guard chief medic told Reuters that all roads in the area were under heavy shelling.

The man said: "Ambulances and other vehicles come under shelling and for that reason it is very difficult to evacuate people.

"There are high losses, and among medics in particular."

Pictures obtained by The Sun Online showed the scale of destruction in Bakhmut.

Images of apartment blocks on fire, residential areas ravaged and soldiers being slaughtered have become commonplace for the hard-fought area.

Russian troops have launched a pincer movement to surround the town from the north and south after struggling to blast their way forward with a months-long full-frontal assault.

Almost every building has been reduced to rubble, yet amazingly some 4,000 civilians, including 37 children, are still there.

Iryna Vereshchuk, a deputy Ukrainian premier, said less than 4,000 civilians out of a pre-war population of some 70,000 remain in Bakhmut.


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