Ukraine said today it is still fighting for control of the eastern city of Bakhmut, after President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier that the city remained “only in our hearts”.

Asked before his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Japan if the city was still in Ukrainian hands after the Russians claimed it was fully occupied, Zelensky told reporters, “I think not.”.

He added: “Because today, Bahamut is only in our hearts.”

Zelensky’s press officer clarified later that the president answered in this way another part of the question.

“Journalist’s question: the Russians said they captured Bakhmut,” Sergey Nikiforov wrote on Facebook. “President’s answer: I believe not.”

The spokesman added in Ukrainian: “In this way, the president denied that the Bahamut was captured.”

Russia claimed on Saturday that it had fully captured the now-razed eastern Ukrainian city, and Russian President Vladimir Putin today congratulated the Wagner mercenary force and the Russian armed forces for what he called the “liberation” of Bakhmut, which Russia calls Artyomovsk. , using the name the city had during the Soviet era.

“It’s a tragedy,” said Volodymyr Zelensky. “There’s nothing over there anymore.”