Volodymyr Zelensky Insists Russia Does Not Occupy Bakhmut Despite Moscow-Backed Mercenary Group’s Claim of Control.
Ukraine’s President Speaks at Hiroshima During G7 Summit. Yevgeny Prigozhin, Founder of Wagner, Claims Victory in Bakhmut Ukrainian Military Sources Claim Control of Buildings on Outskirts of City.
Mr. Zelensky Refuses to Provide Precise Details at Press Conference on Final Day of Summit “City Not Occupied by Russia as of Today,” Says Official Regarding Longest and Bloodiest Battle of War.
Mr Zelensky Refuses to Provide Precise Details at Press Conference on Final Day of Summit Statement: City Not Occupied by Russia as of Today, Says SourceStatement: “No Two or Three Interpretations of Those Words,” Says Speaker After Earlier Confusion on City’s Status
Wagner’s Mr. Prigozhin Claims Fighters in Full Control of Bakhmut in Saturday Video
Zelensky Promises “Reconstruction” of Ukraine, Comparing Bakhmut to Hiroshima
Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
After the meeting, Mr. Kishida meets reporters at peace park and strides into the auditorium.
“Slava Ukraini”: Journalist Shouts as He Enters the Room Mr. Zelensky Nods to Acknowledge Her
Comparing Hiroshima and Ukraine: Bakhmut Today Resembles Ruins of Japanese City After Bombing “Reconstruction and Recovery” of Ukraine Vowed by Leader
He said: “Now Hiroshima Has Rebuilt Their City, and We Dream of Rebuilding Our Cities.”
Earlier, there was some confusion regarding the status of Bakhmut after Mr. Zelensky stated, “Bakhmut exists only in our hearts today.”
His office subsequently clarified that he never claimed the city had fallen.
However, Russian forces dominate the majority of Bakhmut. Wagner mercenaries have focused their efforts there for months, and their relentless, expensive strategy of sending in waves of men appears to have eroded Kyiv’s resistance incrementally.
To this point, Ukrainian forces have resisted demands for a tactical withdrawal, claiming that if they did, it would result in a “Pyrrhic victory” for the Russians.
Mr. Zelensky also mentioned that his soldiers would continue to perform “important work” in the region.
Later, a senior Ukrainian general reported that Kyiv’s forces were advancing on the periphery of Bakhmut and closing in on a “tactical encirclement” of the city.
According to analysts, the capture of Bakhmut would be a symbolic victory for Russia after the most protracted battle of the Ukrainian conflict to date.
Nonetheless, Ukraine quickly reclaimed vast tracts of territory elsewhere when Russia fought bravely to claim the cities of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk during the summer of 2014.
This year’s anticipated counteroffensive will almost certainly employ a similar strategy.
The conflict in Ukraine dominated the three-day G7 summit in Japan, with Mr. Zelensky meeting with several world leaders to lobby for additional support.
His perseverance bore fruit. At the summit, the United States announced it would permit its Western allies to provide Ukraine with advanced fighter aircraft, including F-16s manufactured there.
However, no nation has yet committed to providing the aircraft to Ukraine.
When asked by the BBC about his confidence in receiving F-16s from his allies, Mr. Zelensky responded, “We will definitely be working on that… This is not a secret, but we do not know the exact number.”
The BBC also inquired as to when his delayed spring offensive would commence.
“Russia will sense our counteroffensive,” he responded.