Russia claimed responsibility on Tuesday (January 31st) for the capture of the village of Blagodatné, north of the city of Bakhmout, in eastern Ukraine, where the Russian army has intensified its offensive and has been progressing slowly for several weeks.
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The Ministry of Defense indicated in its daily press release that "
the locality of Blagodatné had been liberated
" after an offensive by "
volunteer assault units
" supported by aviation and artillery.
Volunteers are the Russian military's euphemism for paramilitary groups, like Wagner, fighting in Ukraine.
The boss of Wagner, the sulphurous Evguéni Prigojine, had claimed the capture of the village by his men on Saturday, which kyiv had denied.
The Russian army and Wagner have been trying since the summer to take Bakhmout, a city of 70,000 inhabitants before the conflict.
Read alsoWar in Ukraine: these Wagner fighters, conscripted in prison and treated as heroes on their return
For several weeks, they have intensified their offensive to encircle the locality, taking the town of Soledar in January, at the cost of heavy losses, and the neighboring villages.