Ukrainian presidential spokesman says Zelensky didn’t acknowledge loss of Artyomovsk

World May 21, 2023, 11:09

The meeting was held on Sunday in Hiroshima on the sidelines of the G7 summit

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky did not acknowledge the loss of Artyomovsk (the Ukrainian name of the city is Bakhmut) during a meeting with his American counterpart Joe Biden, Ukrainian presidential spokesman Sergey Nikiforov said.

The meeting was held on Sunday in Hiroshima on the sidelines of the G7 summit. It was attended by members of the delegation and journalists. During Zelensky's interaction with Biden, someone from the audience shouted out a question addressed to the Ukrainian president: "Is Bakhmut still under Ukrainian control?" This was followed by an additional line: "The Russian Federation claims to have taken Bakhmut."

Zelensky replied, "I think no." And then added: "But you have to understand that there is nothing left there. They destroyed everything. There are no buildings. It's a pity, it's a tragedy, but for today Bakhmut is only in our hearts."

Nikiforov says that Zelensky was responding to an additional line. That is, the words "I think no" refer to the phrase: "The Russian Federation claims to have taken Bakhmut". At the same time, Nikiforov glosses over the fact that there was a clear question about whether Artemovsk remains under Ukrainian control.

"The president has denied Bakhmut has been taken over," Nikiforov wrote on his Facebook page (prohibited in Russia due to its ownership by Meta, which has been designated as extremist).


Liberation of Artyomovsk


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.

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