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The situation on the frontline is “difficult,” says the leader of pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk

Denis Pushilin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, speaks to journalists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on July 13. (Photo: AP)

Russian state media said Denis Bushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, called the situation “difficult” in the region.

In reports collected by state news agency RIA Novosti, Bushilin said that while Russian units, backed by Moscow, continued to advance, they were “not as fast as we would like.”

He also suggested that developments of 50 to 200 meters “play an important role in liberating populated areas”.

Wagner and Bajmut: Bushilin spoke directly about the situation in and around Bagmut and the use of Wagner’s mercenaries, a private Russian military group, in that area of ​​the front line.

He said Wagner’s fighters were clearing Yakovlivka, 16 kilometers (10 miles) northeast of Bagmut, in the direction of Soledar.

“They are constantly working around Buckmutt to create the conditions to completely wipe out Buckmutt,” he said.

Bushilin also commented on the ongoing attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. He described the attacks as successful and “complicated military logistics and communication between units”.

“Taken together, this creates the conditions to come even closer to the complete and precise defeat of the rest of Ukraine,” he said.

Some context: The city of Donetsk has been occupied by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, however, Ukrainian forces remain a few kilometers from its border and maintain much control over the region.

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In October, the Russian parliament approved President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex Ukraine’s four oblasts β€” Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Luhansk β€” even though they do not fully control them. This action is illegal under international law.

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