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The latest on Bakhmut and Russia’s war in Ukraine: Live updates


2:00 PM ET on May 20, 2023

Wagner claims to have captured the city of Bakhmut. Here’s what else you should know

From CNN staff

According to Wagner, the battle for the city of Bakhmut has come to an end as the Russian private military group claims its forces have taken complete control of the long-disputed city in eastern Ukraine.

CNN could not independently verify Wagner’s claim, and a statement from a Ukrainian defense official partially disputed it, saying Kyiv’s troops still hold a small part of the city.

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin claimed that his forces will hand over control of Bakhmut to the Russian military on May 25.

The city can largely be seen as a symbolic target for Moscow, although it also provides important road links to other parts of the Donetsk region: east to the border with Luhansk, northwest to Sloviansk and southwest to Kostiantynivka.

Here’s what else you should know in a day of big developments for the war in Ukraine:

G7 Summit: G7 members meet in Hiroshima, Japan, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a surprise attendee. The G7 includes the world’s most advanced industrialized democracies: the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Japan and Italy. Tokyo has also invited Australia, South Korea, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, all growing economic powerhouses and key Asian regional players.

At the summit, the leaders decided on a plan to counter Moscow and agreed to “support Ukraine as long as it takes in the face of Russia’s illegal war of aggression.” The G7 also called on China to pressure Russia to “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine” and stop its military aggression.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met with Zelensky at the summit, where he assured that his country will do “everything we can” to find a solution to the war in Ukraine. It was the first time the two met since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which Modi has not directly condemned, despite sending humanitarian aid.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov characterized the decisions at the G7 summit as cynical ploys to hold back Russia and China.

On earth: Russia launched another “massive drone strike” near Kiev during the early hours of Saturday, marking its 11th airstrike this month, the city’s military administration said.

Meanwhile, Russian troops in occupied Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine, are receiving backup after explosions rocked a Russian base there on Friday, a local Ukrainian official said.

Military assistance: Zelensky thanked British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for the leadership he says Britain has shown in building an international coalition to help Ukraine acquire F-16 fighter jets. Russia’s deputy foreign minister condemned the coalition and warned Western countries of “huge risks to themselves” if Ukraine is supplied with F-16 fighter jets, Russian state media TASS reported on Saturday.

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