Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Russian republic of Chechnya, said today that his troops had taken control of the town of Popasna in eastern Ukraine.
At the same time, however, Ukrainian officials insist that the battle for Popasna continues and that it has not passed into the hands of the Chechens and Moscow.
In mid-April, Russian forces launched a new offensive focusing on eastern Ukraine, with the heaviest bombings and attacks in recent times around Popasna in Luhansk Oblast.
“Chechen special forces (…) fighters have taken control of most of Popasna,” Kadyrov told the Telegram. “The main streets and areas of the city have been completely cleaned,” he added.
Kyiv has not yet commented on the report, but late Saturday, Alexei Arestovich, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said there was heavy fighting in the city.
“The battle for Popasna continues,” Arestovic said in a video he posted on social media.
“The Russian propagandists are happy to say that they have already understood it, but that is not the case. “This is the 117th time they have claimed to have ‘occupied Popasna’ this week.”
Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai had said earlier yesterday that Ukrainian forces were still in control of the area. “The situation is very difficult, but under control,” he told a Telegram video. He added that no Chechen troops were involved in the fighting, but that they were looting and filming.