Ukrainian president denies Russia’s alleged capture of Bakhmut

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday denied that Russian forces have captured the strategic city of Bakhmut.

'Today, they (the Ukrainian army) are performing a very important task. Today, they are in Bakhmut. At what points - I will not share. But this suggests that Bakhmut is not captured by the Russian Federation as of today. There are no two or three interpretations of this,' Zelenskyy said during a press conference in Hiroshima.

His statement came a day after the head of Russia's Wagner paramilitary group Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed his forces have taken complete control of the city.

The Ukrainian leader is currently in Japan, where he participated in the G-7 summit and met the leaders of the US, EU, UK, Canada, South Korea, France, India, Italy, Indonesia, Japan and Germany.

Zelenskyy said Ukraine was holding on and fighting 'thanks to the courage of our people and our soldiers.'

'We do not leave people to die. For us, people are a treasure. This is the most important thing we have. There are no misunderstandings. I clearly understand what is taking place in Bakhmut. And we all clearly understand why all this is happening,' he said.

In response, Prigozhin said the Ukrainian president was either being 'disingenuous' or has no idea 'what is happening on Earth.'

Zelenskyy was earlier reported to have acknowledged that Bakhmut had fallen, but his aide Serhii Nykyforov said that comment was down to a misunderstanding.

In a Facebook post, Nykyforov said Zelenskyy replied 'I think no' when he thought a reporter asked him if the Russians had taken the city.

'In this way, the president denied the capture of Bakhmut,' Nykyforov said.

The Ukrainian military also said early Sunday that the battle for Bakhmut continues.

Source: Anadolu Agency