The creator of PMC Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin , announced the capture of the village of Klescheevka near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. However, shortly before this, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that the Ukrainian side repelled Russian attacks in the area.
The Telegram channel of Prigozhin's press service published a transcript of his audio message, in which he talks about the capture of Kleshcheevka:
“We can safely say that the settlement of Kleshcheevka, which is one of the important suburbs of Bakhmut, has been completely taken under the control of Wagner PMC units. Exclusively by units of PMC Wagner. Kleshcheevka is released. Fierce fighting is still going on around Kleshcheevka. The enemy clings to every meter of the earth. Contrary to various opinions that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are fleeing from Artemovsk <the name of Bakhmut in 1924-2016 - ed. The Insider> , it's not. The APU works clearly and harmoniously. We have a lot to learn from them. But in any case, Wagner PMC units are moving forward meter by meter. The settlement of Artemovsk will be taken."
Viktor Yagun, a retired major general of the SBU, told The Insider that, as in the case of Soledar, the loss of Kleshcheevka would not matter much. At the same time, the “Wagnerites” and the Russian army, according to him, suffer enormous losses - up to a battalion per day:
“It would all be funny if it weren’t sad because of how many people are dying there. They [losses] are huge and not provoked by anything other than the desire to seize 3-4 kilometers of Ukrainian land. Whether they took this village or not - what is the operational interest? We are all ready to leave. In Ukraine, no one will make a tragedy if we move away from Bakhmut. Yes, it will be unpleasant, as in the situation with Soledar. But our people know every point and every stone of this land, and now they are just covered there.
Prigozhin cannot speak differently. He needs to be shown that the Russian Ministry of Defense is losing in everything. Like, take an example from the Armed Forces of Ukraine and from us, we respect the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which win on all fronts. The Ministry of Defense of Russia, but we are better because we are moving forward. Despite all the spokes in the wheels, despite the fact that they don’t give us equipment and artillery, we liberate the territories with our assault detachments.”
When Prigozhin announced the capture of Soledar, he also emphasized that the Wagner PMC was behind this: “I want to emphasize once again that no units other than Wagner PMC fighters took part in the assault on Soledar.”