Russian contractor Wagner pulls out of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine

Wagner, the head of a Russian private military contractor, announced Thursday that he had begun withdrawing his forces from eastern Ukraine’s Bakhmut and handing control over to the Russian military, days after he said Wagner’s troops had captured the devastated city.

Wagner millionaire Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has long-standing ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in a Telegram video that the handover would be completed by June 1. There was no immediate comment from the Russian Defense Ministry.

It could not be independently verified whether Wagner’s withdrawal from the bombed city began after the nine-month battle that claimed tens of thousands of lives.

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