Ukrainian service members prepare to fire a howitzer on the front line, during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on March 2, 2023, near the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Photo credit: Reuters
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner Mercenary Force, said in a video posted on March 3. Bakhmut, a city in Ukraine His forces were “virtually surrounded” and Kiev’s forces were left with only one road.
Mount Prigozhin’s men have led a months-long offensive with Moscow over Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, which it calls after its Soviet-era name of Artyomovsk, as a useful stepping stone to capture larger cities such as Kramatosk and Slavyansk. .
In the video, Mr Prigozhin, dressed in military uniform, asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to withdraw his forces from the small town.
“Units of the private military company Wagner have virtually surrounded Bakhmut. There is only one road left (open to Ukrainian forces). The pincers are getting tougher,” Mr Prigozhin said.
Mr Prigozhin said his forces were increasingly fighting against the elderly and children rather than Ukraine’s professional army.
The video then showed three captured Ukrainians – an old man and two young boys – who looked scared and asked to be allowed to go home.
He was seen speaking in a choreographed manner under extreme tension.
Mr Prigosan released another video on Thursday showing his fighters inside Bachmouth. Reuters The footage geolocated east of Bakhmut, about 1.2 miles (2 km) from the city center.