Zelensky vows to bolster defense of key Donbass city — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Bakhmut remains the main target of the country’s army, according to the Ukrainian president

The defense of the strategic city of Artyomovsk in the Donbass, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine, which would be almost completely surrounded by Russian forces, will be stepped up, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said.

The fight for Artyomovsk – an important stronghold and logistical hub for Kiev forces in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic – has been raging since August.

In a video address late Wednesday, Zelensky spoke about the decisions made during a meeting he had with senior Ukrainian military officials earlier in the day, which included “Reports of the Commander-in-Chief, Intelligence and Commanding Officers.”

Bakhmut and Khortitsa, the largest island on the Dnieper River, part of the Ukrainian city of Zaporozhye, remain “the principal objective” for the country’s armed forces, he said.

“The clear position of the entire staff is to reinforce this direction, to inflict the maximum possible damage on the occupants”, said the president.

Zelensky’s office also said in a separate statement that “a common position regarding the continued detention and defense of the city of Bakhmut” was expressed at the high-level gathering.

Russian forces captured several villages in the area and recently almost surrounded the town, according to the head of the Wagner Private Military Company, Evgeny Prigozhin. Earlier this month he said Russian troops had full control of the eastern part of Artyomovsk.

Zelensky has repeatedly insisted he will not surrender the city, despite reports that the United States has urged him to stand down and concentrate on other parts of the front line.

In an interview with CNN last week, the Ukrainian leader explained that the battle for Artyomovsk/Bakhmut was “tactical” for her country and that if Russia took control of the bastion, she would have a open road to other parts of Donbass held by Kyiv.

Politico reported on Sunday that Zelensky’s fixation on Artyomovsk has seen relations between kyiv and its main supporter Washington “crack”. Biden administration officials told the outlet they were concerned that “expend so much manpower and ammunition” could prevent Ukraine from mounting a counter-offensive against Russian forces elsewhere.

You can share this story on social media:

Leave a Comment