Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 23, 2023


Ukraine retakes part of village near Bakhmut, head of Russia’s Wagner says

(Reuters) -Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Monday that Ukrainian forces had retaken part of the village of Berkhivka, north of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, calling it a “disgrace”.

Prigozhin’s private Wagner militia captured Bakhmut last month after the longest battle of the war and handed its positions there to regular Russian troops.

Ukrainian forces have continued to attack areas north and south of the city including Berkhivka, whose seizure Wagner had claimed on Feb. 24. The village lies about 3 km (1.9 miles) northwest of Bakhmut.

“Now part of the settlement of Berkhivka has already been lost, the troops are quietly running away. Disgrace!” Prigozhin said in an audio message published by his press service.

Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-backed governor of the Donetsk region, which includes Bakhmut, told Russian state television the situation on the city’s flanks was “under control” but “very difficult”.

Prigozhin urged Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and the chief of the general staff, Valery Gerasimov, to come to the front to rally the troops.

“Come on, you can do it!” he said in his message. “And if you can’t, you’ll die heroes.”

Prigozhin has waged a public feud with Shoigu and Gerasimov for months, frequently accusing them of failing to provide sufficient ammunition and support for Wagner in the field, and so causing it to suffer needlessly heavy losses.

(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan and Felix Light; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


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