Leopard 2 tanks spotted near Bakhmut, pro-Russian official says

German-made Leopard tanks have been spotted near Bakhmut, according to an advisor to the head of the self-declared pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic.

“There have been claims that Leopards have appeared near Artemovsk (the Russian name for Bakhmut),” Yan Gagin told state broadcaster Russia 1 on Tuesday.

Gagin went on to downplay the presence of the tanks near the frontline.

“There is no need to sensationalize this. Given the muddy weather now, it will make it difficult for heavy vehicles like the Leopard to move,” he said. “[It] is the same armored target as all the others.”

CNN could not independently verify Gagin’s claims, but European officials have said previously that the first donated Leopard 2 tanks have begun arriving in Ukraine.