Russian forces in Bakhmut are starting to demine the city, according to the acting head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
"The preliminary demining of the city is going on," Denis Pushilin told Russian television on Monday, in comments reported by state media TASS.
“The Russian forces that liberated the city are checking buildings for explosives. It is important for us to carry out a complete, thorough demining. This is very painstaking and difficult work, given the scale of the hostilities that took place there.”
The head of the Wagner private military group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, confirmed on his Telegram channel that a demining operation had begun.
Conflicting claims: Prigozhin claimed Saturday to have taken complete control of the eastern city of Bakhmut, after a grinding, months-long offensive.
The next day, he claimed that his forces will leave the front line in eastern Ukraine entirely after “capturing all the territories they promised to capture, to the last square centimeter.”
Prigozhin said he's handing over his positions to the Russian Ministry of Defense after Wagner forces leave
Ukraine, meanwhile, claims it is holding on to a small area in the western part of the city — and that its progress in areas surrounding Bakhmut has left it in a strong position.