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Russia continues to suffer “significant” losses near Bakhmut, Ukrainian commander says

Russia continues to suffer “significant losses” during fighting around Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, the Commander of Ukraine’s Ground Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi said Saturday after visiting troops on the front line.

“The enemy continues to suffer significant losses in the Bakhmut direction,” Syrskyi said on the messaging app Telegram. “Defense Forces (of Ukraine) continue to fight. We will win.”

Syrskyi’s comments came a day after Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Russian private military company Wagner, said that 99% of his troops had left Bakhmut after handing over their positions to soldiers from the Russian military.

Bakhmut has been the site of one of the bloodiest battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces since the Kremlin launched its invasion last year. Prigozhin claimed victory and control of the city last month, though Ukraine says it continues to have a foothold on the southwestern edge of the city.

Reports suggest that front lines in and around the city have been largely static. In early May, while Wagner forces were pushing westward out from the center of Bakhmut, Ukrainian forces had been making limited territorial gains on higher ground to the northwest and southwest of the city.

The latest from the battlefield: In its daily operational update, Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed on Saturday that Russia’s attempted offensive actions near Ivanivske, a small town around 5 miles west of Bakhmut, were unsuccessful. Kyiv said that Russian forces had carried out air strikes on nearby Bila Hora and Chasiv Yar, as well as a missile strike on the town of Druzhkivka, in the same part of the Donetsk region.

CNN is unable to verify claims on battlefield developments.

CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko and Allegra Goodwin