Zelensky earlier told US President Joe Biden that “there is nothing left” in Bakhmut after the Russian Defense Ministry announced it had captured the key Ukrainian city.
“Today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing,” he said, except “a lot of dead Russians.”
The eight-month battle for the city in eastern Ukraine was one of the bloodiest of the war, with 354,000 casualties killed or wounded.
But he later clarified that he did not intend to report that the city had been completely captured by Russian forces series On the claims and counterclaims of Moscow and Kiev.
“Bahkmut is currently not occupied by the Russian Federation,” he said in Hiroshima.
Late on Sunday evening (local time), the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine issued a statement saying: “The fight for the city of Bakhmut continues.”
The fog of war has made it impossible to establish the situation on the ground in the longest battle of the invasion, and a series of comments from Ukrainian and Russian officials have added to the confusion.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian Wagner mercenary army, announced earlier that Bakhmut came under full Russian control around noon on Saturday.
Prigogine reiterated in an audio message released on Sunday via the Telegram messaging app that he had captured all of Bakhmut, as promised, and would leave the conflict zone later this week.
“Wagner has made no progress. Wagner did not gain any territory today. We have occupied all the territory we promised to occupy, up to the last centimeter,” said Prigozhin.
The G7 actions have been retaliated by the Russian military, which has deployed two submarines and a warship in the Black Sea, raising fears it could launch more missile strikes on Ukraine to coincide with the G7, a Ukrainian military spokesman said. : Ukrainian television.
In a series of group meetings with G7 leaders over the weekend, including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Zelensky expanded his offer for greater support beyond Europe’s borders.
“We don’t have random meetings,” said Zelensky. “I can’t afford to have random meetings because we’re at war.”
Albanese said the Australian government was always looking at what it could do to support the people of Ukraine and President Zelensky, but did not announce any new measures for the Hiroshima war-torn country.
“We view his struggle as a struggle on behalf of all those who support nation-states existing within sovereign borders,” he said. “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is an outrage.”
Zelensky confirmed that he is working with Australia on further measures. “I can’t say details, but we are grateful for those support packages,” he said. “I’m really thankful for that.”
He called on all democracies, including Japan and South Korea, that have yet to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine to provide them to Kiev as the war enters its next phase.
“We will paralyze other potential aggressors,” he said. “When the warmongers see how united and determined the world is for peace, it will make no sense for them to start a war.”
G7 leaders appear to have organized some of the meetings to target neutral powers that have refused to take a stand on the war. “I believe it can change the game,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.
On Saturday, the President of Ukraine sat next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and participated in a group meeting with Brazilian President Lula da Silva. Last month, Lula called on Zelensky to give up Crimea.
Modi has refused to support sanctions against Moscow over India’s dependence on Russian military supplies, but the Indian leader shook hands with Zelensky in Hiroshima and maintained New Delhi’s “clear support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward”.
“We will involve as many countries and leaders as possible for the sake of the Ukrainian peace resolution,” Zelensky said.