Ukrainian spokesman “Zelensky not admitting fall of Bakhmut—confusion during questioning”

Russia has declared that it has fully captured Bakhmut, the largest battleground in eastern Ukraine, while Ukraine has again denied its fall.

“Our forces are still in control of parts of the city,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said, adding that “we have partially encircled the city along the Bakhmut flank,” according to Reuters on Nov. 21 (local time).

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who was in Hiroshima, Japan, for the Group of Seven (G7) summit, answered “no” to a reporter’s question about whether Bakhmut was under Ukrainian control, leading to a spate of foreign media reports that he had acknowledged the fall, which were later corrected by the presidential spokesman’s office. There was a misunderstanding during the question-and-answer session.

“I think no,” Zelensky said in response to the question “Is Bakhmurt still under Ukrainian control? Russia claims to have captured the city,” ahead of a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden later that day.

“Russia has destroyed everything in Bakhmut, there is nothing left there,” he said, adding, “Today, for once, Bakhmut is in our hearts.”

This led to reports that Zelensky had officially recognized the fall, but a spokesperson for the presidential office, Sergei Nikiforov, later clarified that “the president gave a response denying the fall of Bakhmurt.” Zelensky was responding to the latter’s statement that메이저사이트 “Russia claims to have captured the city”.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had taken full control of Bakhmut. In a statement, the Kremlin also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “congratulated the Wagner Group assault group and the Russian Armed Forces on the completion of the liberation operation.”

Bakhmut has been the scene of the longest battle since the war broke out in February last year, with Russia and Ukraine locked in a bloody war of attrition for more than 10 months.

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