Fighters from the Wagner Group this Sunday claimed control of the Stupki railway station, north of Bakhmut, the scene of fighting in eastern Ukraine.
“The robbery and clearing of the Stupki station in the suburb of Artyomovsk [nomenclatura russa para Bakhmut] have been completed. The neighborhood is under full control of the Wagner fighters,” says a statement from the militia of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk published on the Telegram messaging system and quoted by the Efe news agency.
The completion of the operation in Stupki, considered key to gaining access to Bakhmut, was announced by the leader of Donetsk, pro-Russian leader Denis Pushilin, last week.
“Now, they [Wagner] liberated the Stupki neighborhood. If we take into account that there are fights for every house there, this is an important success at the current stage”, said Pushilin on Russian state television.
The spokesman for the Eastern Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Sergei Cherevaty, said on Saturday that the situation in Bakhmut was difficult, but that the region remained under control, adding that the Ukrainian forces would rebuild their defenses to resist the Russian pressure.
The city of Bakhmut, which was called Artemivsk or Artyomovsk between 1924 and 2016, is located in eastern Ukraine on the Bakhmutka River.
It is a strategic point because it is connected by road with the two largest cities in Donetsk: Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, which are under Kiev’s control.