MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. Russian forces are gradually liberating Artyomovsk (the Ukrainian name of the city is Bakhmut), Acting Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday.
"Our guys advance, they are steadily liberating [Artyomovsk]," he said, commenting on the situation in Artyomovsk during a Soloviev Live TV broadcast.
Pushilin earlier reported that Russian forces controlled 75% of the territory of Artyomovsk.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner PMC, said on April 7 that Russian forces were engaged in fierce battles with Ukrainian servicemen near the Artyomovsk railway station. Yan Gagin, a military analyst and an adviser to the DPR acting head, informed on April 6 that Kiev suffered between 15,000 and 20,000 casualties during the fight for Artyomovsk. On the night of April 3, Prigozhin reported that the Russian flag had been hoisted over the Artyomovsk administration and made a statement that the city was officially under the control of Russian forces.
Artyomovsk is located in the Kiev-controlled part of the DPR and was an important transport hub for supplying the Ukrainian group of troops in Donbass. Fierce fighting is taking place for the city. On March 22, Gagin said that the city was almost completely blockaded by Russian forces, with all access routes controlled by Russian artillery. Earlier, he reported that Russian forces controlled about 70% of Artyomovsk territory. Nevertheless, Kiev has repeatedly stated that the Ukrainian armed forces would defend the city as long as possible and had no plans to leave it.