STORY: Russian mercenaries with the Wagner Group organization are withdrawing from the outskirts of the city of Bakhmut, to be replaced by regular government soldiers.
That's according to Ukraine's defense ministry.
It appears to at least partially confirm statements from the group's founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin - seen in this video release Thursday May 25) - that his forces would be leaving the devastated city on May 25 through June 1.
And the Ukrainian defense ministry says that as of Thursday, the mercenaries remain inside the city.
Ukraine's military also said the number of Russian attacks in the area had fallen in recent days.
Prigozhin claimed to have completed Russia's capture of the city on Saturday (May 20), after the longest and bloodiest battle of the war in which his group played a central role.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government says Russia launched 36 drones against the country in overnight attacks, but that every one of them was shot down without reaching their target.
This footage from a Reuters camera shows debris falling over the capital Kyiv.
The drones were said to be Iranian origin, and given to Russia's military.