The Russian-backed militant group Wagner claims it has captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, but President Volodymyr Zelensky says fighting is still ongoing there.
According to the news agency AFP, the Wagner paramilitary group helped the Russian army to besiege Bakhmut.
Analysts say that the strategic importance of the city is not high, but there has been a fierce battle between the Russian and Ukrainian forces for its possession.
The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Hurgozhin, has said on his Telegram channel that “the commanders have taken over the city hall and the center, and the Russian flag will be placed on it.”
He said that this is the Wagner Private Military Company and these are the soldiers who have captured Bakhmut. It is legally ours.
On March 20, Yevgeny Hergozhon claimed that his fighters had taken control of 70 percent of the city.
President Vladimir Zelensky has said that his army is defending his country.
He said that he is grateful that his army is fighting near Odevoka, Marinka and especially Bakhmut. Today there is a hot front.
Ukrainian officials say three men and three women were killed and 11 injured in a Russian missile attack in Kostyanyivka, about 27 kilometers (17 miles) near Bakhmut, on Sunday.
The president of Ukraine said that the attack took place in a residential area and civilians were targeted.
Local police in Donetsk have said that Russia has launched an attack with S-300 and Yurgan missiles.
Police say that 16 apartments, eight private houses, a kindergarten, an administration building, three vehicles and a gas pipeline were targeted in the attack.
Lilia, a 19-year-old student of psychology, says that she found out from the news that there was an attack in her area.
“I am very lucky that I was not at home at that time.