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Zelensky compares Artyomovsk to Hiroshima — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

The aftermath of the battle for the key Donbass city reminds the Ukrainian president of the US nuclear bombing

The devastation left by the months-long battle for the Donbass city of Artyomovsk is reminiscent of the destruction resulting from the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told journalists on Sunday while attending the G7 summit hosted by the Japanese city.

“The photos of Hiroshima remind me of Bakhmut,” said Zelensky, using the Ukrainian name of the city. He laid wreaths at the memorial to the victims of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during his visit. “Absolute total destruction. There is nothing, there are no people,” he said, adding that “all the buildings are destroyed” in the city captured by Russia over the weekend.

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed seizing Artyomovsk late on Saturday. On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Wagner fighters and the servicemen of the regular Russian Army for successfully taking the city. Kiev continues to deny losing control of it.

Zelensky himself sent mixed signals about the situation on the ground. Early on Sunday, he said the city “is only in our hearts” when asked if Ukraine still controls Artyomovsk. Later, he denied the city was “occupied by Russia.” Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, the founder of the Wagner Group private military company, told journalists on Sunday that “no Ukrainian fighters had been left” in Artyomovsk.

The US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima killed between 70,000 and 80,000 civilians, or around 30% of the city’s population at that time, according to various estimates. Another 70,000 people were injured. The blast also killed an estimated 20,000 Japanese military personnel.

The ‘Little Boy’ bomb that exploded about 580 meters above the city right over the Shima Surgical Clinic destroyed everything within a some 1.6-kilometer radius from the center of the blast. It also caused a massive blaze that engulfed 11 square kilometers. According to Japanese officials, almost 70% of the city’s buildings were destroyed.

The salt-mining city of Artyomovsk had been the scene of intense fighting for some eight months as Russian forces gradually pushed Ukrainian troops out. The city, which spreads over some 41.6 square kilometers, was largely destroyed in the process.

In 2017, the total population of Artyomovsk amounted to just over 71,000 people. Most residents were evacuated before the battle began or earlier in the fighting. However, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, some 10,000 people were still living in the city in late March. Kiev also stated that the battle for Artyomovsk claimed the lives of some 4,000 civilians. Russia did not comment on these estimates.

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