The Wagner Group announced today that it has taken control of Paraskoviivka, a place north of Bakhmut that is considered a tactical hub in the war between Ukraine and Russia. The group’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has announced that the settlement will be fully controlled by his armed forces, according to Russian news agency Interfax. There are no independent confirmations, and the evening report of the Ukrainian General Staff does not contain any reference to the alleged capture of Paraskoviivka.
According to Russian military bloggers The locality is a strategic node of Ukrainian defense lines: Even though the nearby villages of Werchowka, Berchowka and Jahidne were taken, the Ukrainian troops in Bakhmut could no longer be supplied from the north.
Prigozhin used the announcement to criticize the Russian Defense Ministry, claiming that the push had succeeded despite a “block on the supply of ammunition” and speaking of bloody fighting.
In the meantime, Wagner’s actions are also being monitored by the USA. More than 30,000 of the group’s militants were killed in Ukraine, according to the White House. Among those killed by Wagner, 90% would have been arrested.
The figure will be released as news of the measure adopted by Vladimir Putin arrives. The Russian president has personally pardoned veterans of the front, ex-convicts recruited by Wagner as mercenaries, by decree ad personam. A police database shows that at least two ex-convicts, one on murder charges and one on robbery charges, were pardoned by the president on July 6.
“Early released after the end of his sentence by personal decree of the President,” says the police file of one of the two. The first group of prison recruits to complete the required six months of fighting in Ukraine have been pardoned, as promised to those who joined the mobilization campaign last month, Prigozhin said.