The founder and head of the Russian mercenary organization Wagner Yevgeny Prigozhin announced on Friday that its forces had captured the village of Berkhivka, north of Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine, a strategically important town that Russia has been trying to bring under its control for several months.

The village of Berkhifka, which is called Berkhovka in Russian, “is completely under our control. Wagner units control the whole of Berkhovka,” Prigozhin said in a statement.

Appearing as a “warlord”, yesterday in Bahamut o Yevgeny Prigozhin. In the video he posted on his Telegram account, Prigozhin can be seen with a gun and full equipment, in a damaged area, said to be Bakhmut, while surrounded by his men.

“Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin visited Artemovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut) and congratulated all defenders of the Motherland” is mentioned in the video caption.

Wagner’s founder had earlier clarified that his forces would begin receiving additional supplies of ammunition after a public spat with the highest echelons of the Russian military. However, Wagner’s boss makes no mention of the Russian Defense Ministry, with whom he is at odds.

Yesterday, Kiev spoke of Moscow’s war of attrition against the Ukrainian forces. Russia escalates hostilities in Ukraine a year after it invaded the country in a deliberate attempt to exhaust Ukrainian forces, the Ukrainian military said Thursday.

Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov said Russia aims to capture all areas it does not control in eastern Ukraine’s two Donbas provinces – Donetsk and Luhansk – by the summer.

The fiercest fighting is taking place around Bakhmut, the senior Ukrainian officer pointed out during a briefing, a day before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.

“The most difficult situation remains in the area of ​​Bahmut where the Russian army, despite its significant losses, does not stop its attempts to encircle” the city, he added.