(ANSA) — ROME, FEBRUARY 14 — The head of Russia’s mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, has warned that the capture of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut is far from imminent.
“Bakhmut will not be taken tomorrow because there is strong resistance, the meat grinder is working,” Prigozhin said in a statement quoted by CNN and circulated on Wagner’s Telegram channel. “In order for the meat grinder to work properly, it is impossible to suddenly start the celebrations. There will be no celebrations soon,” he added, later denying rumors that the city would be encircled.
Despite months of intense fighting, the Wagners and Russian forces have still failed to capture Bakhmut, although they are slowly advancing towards the city’s encirclement.
Still, Prigozhin warned that the latter was far from imminent, answering a question as to whether Wagner’s forces had captured a small part of northern Bakhmut.
“I don’t understand where this nonsense is coming from,” he said.
“In all directions the enemy is becoming more active and attracting more and more reserves. Every day, 300 to 500 new fighters are approaching Bakhmut from all directions.
The artillery fire is getting more intense every day,” he stressed. “To this day, heavy fighting continues in the north. There are no prerequisites for encircling the enemy in the northern regions. The attack comes house by house, square meter by square meter. It’s not clear where all these stories of encirclement and more are coming from.” (ANSA).
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