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Russian mercenary group claims to have captured Blagodatne

Blagodatne lies near the salt-mining city of Soledar

Russia Ukraine War Debris hangs from a residential building heavily damaged in a Russian bombing in Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, May 28, 2022 | AP

The Russian military, on Tuesday, said it captured the village of Blagodatne north of the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut. The region had been the epicentre of heavy fighting in recent days.

Russia's defence ministry said that “as a result of successful offensive actions” its forces “liberated the settlement of Blagodatne of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” using Moscow’s term for the eastern Donetsk region, AFP. Kyiv hasn't responded to this claim. 

Three days ago the head of the mercenary force Wagner group said that they had captured Balgodatne, an attack, Kyiv said they had repelled. Blagodatne lies near Soledar. The Wagner group had said they had captured the salt mining town in January. It also lies on a highway leading towards Bakhmut. Putin has been keen on capturing Bakhmut for several months now. 

Russian troops in the meantime launched an attack on Vuhledar, a town that's been under Ukrainian control. Kyiv has again said that it has repelled the attack there, a Reuters report reads. According to the British defence ministry, the assault is not likely to lead to a significant breakthrough. Bakhmut might be key to capturing the entire Donbas area. 

“The situation is very tough,” the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a recent nightly address after meeting with military leaders. He said, “There are constant attempts to break through our defence,” the New York Times reported.

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