The announcement comes days after pro-Russian forces announced they were approaching the city. “A very serious situation remains in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Zelensky said in his daily message, “in the Donbass industrial basin.”
“Like in the past, the hardest part is near Bakhmout. We still remain in our positions,” he said.
Russian-backed separatist forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk region said on Thursday they had captured two nearby villages, Opitin and Ivangrad.
For weeks, Russian troops have been attacking Bakhmut, a city that once had 70,000 inhabitants, hoping to capture the city.
In Chasiv Yar, about fifteen kilometers from Bakhmout, AFP reporters spoke to a soldier who had returned from the front lines in the region.
Nicknamed “Poliac,” the 50-year-old soldier of the 93rd Brigade said, “For days, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, I didn’t drink except coffee.”
“Out of the 13 in my group, we lost two soldiers and five were taken out”, the soldier continued, slightly wounded by shrapnel and showing signs of exhaustion.
“This is our life now, we will do everything for our country,” he said again, almost on the verge of tears.
For weeks, Ukrainian troops have been recovering massive territory in southern and eastern Ukraine.
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