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Zelensky appears to confirm Bakhmut loss, saying ‘nothing left’

Insider Paper | May 21, 2023

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared Sunday to confirm the loss of Bakhmut to the Russians, adding there was “nothing left” of the city.

Asked if Ukrainian forces were holding on or if Russia had captured the city, Zelensky was not entirely clear, but said “you have to understand there is nothing” there. “For today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts.”

The Russian military announced on Saturday the capture of the city, which had turned into the bloodiest battle of the war.

Its loss would be hugely symbolic for the Ukrainians, who held on for months there, ignoring US advice behind the scenes to put their focus elsewhere given the city’s lack of strategic importance in the wider war.

Zelensky, sitting alongside US President Joe Biden at a meeting on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, reflected the difficulty of discussing Bakhmut with a lengthy, emotional answer.

Asked if Ukrainian forces were holding on or if Russia had captured the city, Zelensky was not entirely clear, answering: “I think no.”

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