MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky admitted at a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Hiroshima on Sunday that Kiev no longer controls Artyomovsk (the Ukrainian name of the town: Bakhmut), according to a CNN broadcast.
"I think not," he said, responding to a question from the audience about Kiev retaining control over Artyomovsk, "But you have to understand that there is nothing left there. It's a pity, it's a tragedy, but as of today Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing in this place".
On Saturday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the liberation of Artyomovsk was completed as a result of the offensive by the Wagner assault detachments supported by the southern battlegroup’s artillery and aviation. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the Wagner troops and Russian servicemen on the liberation of the city. According to the Kremlin press service, all those who distinguished themselves will be presented with state awards.
Artyomovsk is located in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic. It was an important transport hub for supplying the Ukrainian forces in Donbass, as well as a powerful Ukrainian outpost. Fighting for the city began on August 1, 2022. The battle became one of the largest battles during the liberation of Donbass since 2014. Prior to the start of the fighting, the city was home to about 72,000 people.