Battle loss, more weapons for Ukraine

The fall of Bakhmut casts shadow on the meeting of Ukraine’s president with G7 leaders in Japan

HANDOUT/ [email protected] OFFICIAL | RUSSIAN mercenary group Wagner’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin (center), holds the national flag of his country in front of his soldiers in Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Ukraine has lost in its battle to liberate Bahkmut city from Russian occupiers as the United States announced it will provide Kyiv with more weapons to fight the invaders.

Russia’s defense ministry said Saturday the Wagner assault units liberated the city of Artemovsk, the Soviet-era name of Bakhmut.

“(Russian President) Vladimir Putin congratulated the assault units of Wagner as well as all servicemen of units of the Russian armed forces who provided them with the necessary support and flank cover, on the completion of the operation to liberate” the city, the TASS news agency quoted a Kremlin statement as saying.

Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin earlier claimed the city had fallen to his mercenaries in a video posted on Telegram.

In Hiroshima, Japan, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was meeting with Group of Seven leaders Sunday to ask for more weapons, munitions and fighter planes, he declined to confirm the defeat.

In Kyiv, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Ganna Malyar claimed in a post on Telegram that “our defenders control certain industrial and infrastructure facilities in the area.”

US President Joe Biden announced Sunday as he met Zelensky in the G7 Summit that America’s next package of support for Kyiv includes “ammunition, artillery, armored vehicles” worth $375 million.

Before attending the summit, Biden also approved the transfer by US allies of F-16 jets to Ukraine.

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