Wagner boss says he wants Bakhmut in Ukraine for its 'underground cities'
The founder of Russia's most high-profile mercenary group said on Saturday he wanted his forces and the regular Russian army to capture the small city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine because it possessed "underground cities" that can hold troops and tanks, Qazet.az reports.
Russia's grinding more than five months-long push to try to take Bakhmut has puzzled some Western military analysts who have said that heavy losses incurred on the Russian side and the fact that Ukraine has built defensive lines to fall back to nearby mean any Russian victory there, if it happens, would be pyrrhic.
Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia's Wagner mercenary group which is fighting in the battle of Bakhmut, set out in detail on Saturday why he thought its capture would be significant.
"The cherry on the cake is the system of Soledar and Bakhmut mines, which is actually a network of underground cities. It not only (has the ability to hold) a big group of people at a depth of 80-100 metres, but tanks and infantry fighting vehicles can also move about."