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Wagner Boss Goads Zelenskyy For a Fight

FILE - Yevgeny Prigozhin, left, gestures on the sidelines of a summit meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Konstantin palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia. Taken Aug. 9, 2016.

The head of Russia's mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Monday said he was on a fighter jet that had bombed Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. He also called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to join a fight in the skies over Bakhmut, saying he will board a Mig-29 fighter jet the next day.

In a video on social media, Prigozhin appeared inside a plane flying in darkness, wearing a helmet and a pilot mask.

"We are landing, we bombed Bakhmut," the businessman and Kremlin ally said.

"If you have the will, we will meet in the skies. If you win, you will take Artemovsk (the Russian name for Bakhmut), if not, we will go until the Dnipro (River)," Prigozhin said.

The same day, Ukraine's parliament adopted a resolution denouncing Wagner, whose mercenaries are fighting alongside Russian troops, as a terrorist organisation.

"We are preparing to destroy Wagner as a component of international terrorism," the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andriy Yermak, said.

He said the recognition was a "step towards bringing them (Wagner) to justice."

Wagner mercenaries are taking part in Moscow's offensive on Bakhmut, which Russia has been trying to capture for months, with heavy losses on both sides.

Zelensky on Saturday vowed to fight for Bakhmut "as long as we can."