On the evening of April 2, Russian flag was raised over the building of the city administration in the center of Bakhmut. De jure, the city came under Russian control. However, the clashes are ongoing. The Ukrainian military was forced to retreat to the western outskirts of Bakhmut.
The head of the Wagner PMC published his video appeal from the center of Bakhmut, showing the Wagner fighters raising the flags of the Russian Federation and of the Wagner PMC on the ruins of the city administration building.
“April 2, 2023, 23:00. We hoisted the Russian flag with the inscription “Memory eternal to Vladlen Tatarsky” and the flag of the PMC “Wagner” on the city administration of Bakhmut. Legally, Bakhmut is taken. The enemy is concentrated in the western regions.” Mr Prigozhin claimed in the video.
Several hours before the flags were raised, famous Russian video correspondent and former fighter of Donbass militia was killed in a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg. LINK
The head of the Wagner PMC personally took part in the hoisting of the Russian flag. This fact confirms that the city center was secured by Russian fighters and it came under their full control.
Yevgeny Prigozhin described the situation in the city center, joking that the military command of the AFU can never be met in the city:
I like to walk around Bakhmut at night. Firstly, you will never run into a top military leadership here. That’s why you walk here alone.
I walked around the center of Bakhmut today, went towards the city administration building. I saw a girl wiggling her armored booty. I went up to her, flirted, helped her carry her assault riffle, treated her to lemonade.
We walked on and met Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zelensky, walking with the commander of the land forces of Ukraine, Syrsky.
I tell him: Hi, how are you?
He replied to me: Hello! Everything seems to be fine! The only problem is that the Americans screwed me again with weapons.
I tell him: The Americans should have fucked you anyway.
He says: Well, never mind. How are you?
I told him: Everything is fine. The main thing for me is that my guys should not be cut off on the flanks.
He says: Then, better turn to your Russian commander.
And I say that I have already told them. We talked with Zelensky, agreed on a new meeting. I called him to Bakhmut. He answered that it would be better to meet in Kiev. In general, we did not agree on anything. We decided that we would go to Warsaw a little later. In general, this is how the evening passed in Bakhmut.
Wagner fighter in the building of the Artemovsky district council:
Meanwhile, Wagner fighters are already approaching the Bakhmut railway station located in the western part of the city. The acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin confirmed these reports, claiming that “the enemy is forced to retreat to pre—prepared positions in the western district of Bakhmut.”
He added that Ukrainian troops are trying to counter attack Russian forces in several directions in the Donbass, but all counterattacks are repulsed.
“There are attempts to counterattack in different directions, but they are successfully thwarted by our units. These attempts are not so dangerous and are carried out by groups which do not pose significant threat to our units. This is due precisely to the successful blocking of particular roads, with the inability to fully transfer reserves to the enemy,” Pushilin said.
Georgian mercenary listens to Wagner Orchestra:
In the north-west of Bakhmut, Wagner fighters are advancing along the southern streets in the Selische district. The area near the school No. 24 came under their control.
In the city center, clashes are reported in the area of the Metalurg stadium.
In the southern districts of the city, Wagner assault groups expanded the control zone near the Avangard stadium, advancing along Bakhmutskaya Street.
On the outskirts of Bakhmut, the front lines remained unchanged. The villages of Khromovo and Ivanovskoe (Krasnoye) are still under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This allows the Ukrainian military to use the last road to supply the Ukrainian garrison in Bakhmut and evacuate their wounded comrades. However, it seems that the Wagner fighters are in no hurry to cut the last road, which is already under the Russian fire control. Ukraine’s attempts to strengthen the garrison in Bakhmut allow Russian fighters to destroy the most combat-ready units and military equipment of the AFU, distracting the Ukrainian military command from any operations on other front lines.