‘Wagner assault detachments are expanding the encirclement of Artiomovsk (Bakhmut for Ukrainians), after they liberated the small locality of Zaliznianskoye on Wednesday,’ Prigozhin reported on his Telegram channel.
Artiomovsk is located in the part of the Donetsk People’s Republic controlled by Kiev and is an important transport center for supplying Ukrainian troops in Donbas.
Over this important communications junction fierce battles have been raging since the summer of last year. On March 11, Prigozhin reported that Russian forces were 1.2 km from the administrative center of Artiomovsk, dominating all the surrounding heights.
In the city there are, according to intelligence estimates, between 10,000 and 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers, who are in danger of being encircled by Russian units.