The head of Russia’s Wagner private military company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, paid another visit to the front lines inside the eastern city of Bakhmut, according to video geolocated by CNN.
The video was uploaded Monday and was filmed by Russian journalist Alexander Simonov. It’s unclear exactly when it was shot.
“Wagner group doesn’t always let war journalists join them at the front lines. I asked the boss of the company Yevgeny Prigozhin and he allowed me to come along to the fighters’ positions at Bakhmutka river where right now fierce fighting is underway for the central areas of Bakhmut,” Simonov says.
The river runs north and south through the city’s eastern outskirts.
In the video, a fighter wearing a balaclava says “the enemy is 150-180 meters to the Northwest away from us….every private house is a fortification, every five-nine story building is a fortress.”
The fighter says that on the previous day, Wagner had raided northern Bakhmut and claimed that they’d killed more than 30 Ukrainian soldiers. CNN cannot verify the claim.
“We are moving forward, Bakhmut is going to fall and we will have the victory,” he says.
Prigozhin says, “We are riding through the front line. We are looking at what we could do better, do faster.”
One of the fighters says that they are at school number five in Bakhmut. CNN has geolocated the video to that location, in the southern part of central Bakhmut.
Later, Prigozhin says from another location that he is at a cemetery in the nearby town of Soledar, and adds, “We bury the bodies of Ukrainians that we weren’t able to hand over. We take pictures, and number them in order to hand them over later.”
Prigozhin has paid several visits to Bakhmut and its immediate surroundings in recent weeks.
What both sides are saying: Both Ukrainian and Wagner officials acknowledge street-by-street fighting in the city, with the Ukrainians claiming that they have stabilized the situation in Bakhmut.
Wagner says it now controls all of a metallurgical plant known as AZOM on the northern edge of the city.