In occupied Melitopol, Wagner mercenaries began the recruitment of locals to fight in Bakhmut, as reported by the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, during the national live telethon.
Currently, Russian forces are stationed throughout Melitopol. The city has become a “Russian military base,” according to Fedorov.
“As for Prigozhin’s mobilization, it is true that the Wagner Group is recruiting locals. And we see that Gauleiter [Yevhen] Balytskii initiated the formation of the so-called “home guard” at the beginning of the week. Residents of Melitopol who remained in the temporarily occupied city and who were members of closed Internet communities received invitations to join the Wagner Group at the end of the week. Obviously, no one agrees. Supposedly, however, Russians are willing to pay 200,000 roubles per month to those who join the Wagner Group and “go to Bakhmut,”” stated Fedorov.
Earlier on Monday, Commander of the Ground Forces of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, stated that the situation around Bakhmut in the Donetsk Oblast is complicated. The Russian occupiers continue to attempt to breach the Ukrainian defense and advance into the city’s center despite suffering heavy casualties.