“The assault and clearing of the Stupki station in the northern suburb of Artiomovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut) has been completed, the neighborhood is under the full control of Wagner fighters,” says a statement from the militia of the self-proclaimed republic. Donetsk popular, posted on Telegram.
The “release” of Stupki, considered key to gaining access to the Bakhmut center, was announced by Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin a week ago.
“Now (the Wagner mercenaries) have liberated the Stupki neighborhood. If we take into account that there are fights for every house there, this is an important success in the current phase,” Pushilin told Russian public television.
The spokesman for the Eastern Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Serhiy Cherevatyi, stated the day before that the situation in Bakhmut is difficult but remains under control.
He added that the Ukrainian forces will rebuild their defenses and continue to resist Russian pressure.
This news came amid reports from international analysts pointing to a possible tactical withdrawal of Bakhmut’s Ukrainian forces.
Russian military bloggers, in turn, assure that the departure of the Ukrainians from the strategic city would have already begun.
According to Russian sources, despite the alleged withdrawal, some units of the Ukrainian forces continue to resist to allow other fighters to leave the city.