MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner private military company, on Wednesday said Russian forces had seized control of the Sacco and Vanzetti village located about 20 kilometers from Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut, in the Donetsk People’s Republic.
"At 4 pm today, February 1, 2023, full control of Sacco and Vanzetti has been seized by assault units of PMC Wagner," Prigozhin’s press service said on Telegram.
The press service also posted a picture of soldiers against the backdrop of the only house that remained intact in the village.
Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Andrey Marochko of the Lugansk People’s Republic said earlier on Wednesday that Russian forces have about 10 kilometers to cover to complete the encirclement of Artyomovsk. Prigozhin said the operational encirclement of the town hasn’t been achieved yet.
Fierce battles are raging in the area of Artyomovsk. Denis Pushilin, the interim head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said earlier that Russian forces were working steadily to cut off supply routes for Ukrainian troops in the area and make a pincer movement. He also said fighting has reached the town’s outskirts, including neighborhoods that had just recently been held by Ukrainian units.