Donetsk, Mar 29 — DAN. The Ukrainian army is practically destroyed in clashes for Artyomovsk (Bakhmut), “Wagner” private military company Head Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Wednesday.

“After the capture of Popasnaya, the battle for Bakhmut (Artyomovsk) was planned by my commanders as far back as last summer, ” Prigozhin said adding that “we keep moving on this track.”

“Today, the Bakhmut fight has practically destroyed the Ukrainian army, ” he said acknowledging that the “Wagner” Group had suffered losses as well.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said that the Ukrainian society, after the fall of Artyomovsk, will demand that he agree to a compromise with Russia.

Artyomovsk is a large district center and fortified area of the Ukrainian army north of Gorlovka. Ukrainian forces occupied the town in 2014. The prewar Artyomovsk had machine building, metallurgical and construction companies. The Artyomovsk Champagne Wines Factory is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. Fierce fighting for the town has continued for several months. Western military experts and politicians said Ukrainian army manpower losses had run into thousands. Meanwhile, Kiev keeps trying to hold the town while amassing reserves there.*jk