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Wagner in ‘full management’ of AZOM plant in Bakhmut, stories Russian state media

CNN  — 

Russia’s personal navy group Wagner has taken “full management” of the AZOM metallurgical plant within the north of the town of Bakhmut, in line with video posted by Russian state media and verified by CNN.

“Wagner has full management of the territory of AZOM, the Artemivsk [Bakhmut] non-ferrous steel processing plant,” a correspondent for RIA Novosti stated in a video, which captures Wagner fighters all through the plant.

CNN can’t independently confirm RIA’s declare and has reached out to the Ukrainian Ministry of Protection for remark however is but to obtain a response.

Bakhmut has turn into a focus of Russia’s invasion, with Moscow urgent arduous to seize the town after failing to make main positive aspects elsewhere.

The precise standing of the battle for the town is unclear, but when confirmed Wagner’s claims would recommend Russia has made positive aspects regardless of constructive alerts from Ukraine this week.

On Thursday one in every of Kyiv’s prime generals stated Russian forces are depleted in Bakhmut and a Ukrainian counter-offensive might quickly be launched.

Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of Ukraine’s land forces, stated on his Telegram channel that “[Russians] are shedding vital forces [in Bakhmut] and are working out of power.”

“Very quickly, we’ll make the most of this chance,” he stated.

A counter-offensive has appeared an unlikely prospect for a number of weeks, as forces from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group bombarded Bakhmut and edged nearer towards seizing management of the town.

However that effort has come at a substantial price to manpower and assets, and now seems to have slowed.

Russian forces have been making incremental positive aspects across the metropolis, however Ukrainian forces are but to retreat, making a standoff that remembers drawn-out battles for different jap cities akin to Severodonetsk over the previous yr.

Town sits in the direction of the northeast of the Donetsk area, about 13 miles from Luhansk area, and has been a goal for Russian forces for months.

Since final summer time the town has been a stone’s throw from the entrance strains, so its seize would signify an extended sought-after success for Moscow’s forces – and convey some restricted strategic worth.

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