Russia’s Wagner Group began a planned withdrawal Thursday from the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, according to Yevgeniy Prigozhin, the head of the mercenary force. “From today at five o’clock in the morning, May 25 to June 1, most units will rebase in rear camps,” he said. said in a video. “We surrender our positions to the military.” Earlier this week, he pledged to hand over responsibility for the contested city, which is now under Moscow’s control, to Russia’s Defense Ministry — with which he has been engaged in a long public spat over resources and support. The Washington Post could not independently verify his claims.
Regular Russian army units replaced Wagner forces in the outer suburbs of Bakhmut, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said in a Telegram message on Thursday. He added, however, that the Wagner units are still in the city. Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern command, told The Post that he could confirm that some Wagner troops were rotating but he did not know the scale. He noted that Russia has carried out fewer attacks there in the past two days.
In neighboring Belarus, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu signed an agreement on Thursday with his Belarusian counterpart, allowing the storage of tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of Russia’s ally.
Here’s the latest on the war and its impact around the world.
In wartime Russia, a farm-to-table evangelist finds refuge in a village: While thousands of people fled Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, one businessman chose to stay. Boris Akimov, founder of one of the best farm-to-table restaurants in Moscow that champions local produce, has instead moved to a small village northeast of the capital to set up a new one, writes by Robyn Dixon.
Akimov, like many others in Russia, saw the war as terrible but also beyond his sphere of influence. Instead he avoids the news. He is now reviving the old culinary traditions and building his small restaurant in the country.
Amar Nadhir and Natalia Abbakumova contributed to this report.