Russia Ukraine War

Military medics give first aid to a wounded Ukrainian soldier Wednesday at a medical stabilisation point near Bakhmut, Ukraine.

KYIV, Ukraine — The head of the Russian private military contractor Wagner claimed Thursday that his forces have started pulling out of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine and handing over control to the Russian military, days after he said Wagner troops had captured the ruined city.

Yevgeny Prigozhin, a convicted criminal and Wagner’s millionaire owner with longtime links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in a video published on Telegram that the handover would be completed by June 1. Russia’s Defense Ministry didn’t confirm this and it wasn’t possible independently to verify whether Wagner’s pullout from the bombed-out city has begun after a nine-month battle that killed tens of thousands of people. Prigozhin said his troops would now rest in camps, repair equipment and await further orders.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.