Selenskyj: Unity in the fight for Bakhmut
Dhe President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the unity of the military leadership in Kiev in the battle for the city of Bakhmut in the east of the country. The unanimous decision was made not to give way, but to reinforce the troops, said Zelenskyj in his video message distributed on Monday evening. In it he informed about a meeting with generals on the situation around the symbolic city of the Ukrainian resistance, which is located in the Donetsk region and has already been largely destroyed.
“The Ukrainian armed forces are defending every part of Ukraine and will continue to do so,” said Zelenskyy. The time will come when every town and village of the Ukrainian state will be liberated.
With the embassy, Zelenskyy tried to counteract the impression that the country’s leadership had different opinions on how to deal with the situation in Bakhmut. There is a lot of disinformation, said the head of state. Western experts had also stated that it might be better to abandon the city in order to use the resources elsewhere.
The head of Russia’s private army Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said that Ukrainian forces had reinforced four positions in front of Bakhmut. According to Prigozhin, the Wagner fighters blocked Bakhmut, and now the Ukrainian soldiers are trying to encircle the Russian units and break the blockade. “Ukrainian armed forces will fight to the end for Artemovsk (Russian name for Bakhmut), that’s obvious. We should also do our work to the end,” said Prigozhin. He again demanded more ammunition from the Russian military leadership.
After the meeting with Zelenskyy said in Kyiv also Colonel-General Olexander Syrskyj, commander of the Ukrainian land forces, who was in Bakhmut for the third time within a few days. “The enemy has thrown additional Wagner forces into the fight. Our fighters are valiantly defending positions north of Bakhmut, trying to prevent the city from being encircled.”
Bakhmut, where according to Ukrainian information only a few thousand of the original 70,000 inhabitants live, has been contested since late summer. The city is the main part of the line of defense between Siversk and Bakhmut in the Donetsk Oblast established after the Russian conquest of Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk. If the city falls, the Russian troops will have access to the major cities of Slovjansk and Kramatorsk. This would make a complete conquest of the Donetsk region more likely.
Zelenskyy condemns video with shooting of soldier
In his speech, Zelenskyy also condemned the killing of a Ukrainian prisoner of war who was allegedly shot dead by Russian soldiers after he said the words “Glory to Ukraine”. The scene shown on a video triggered in the Ukraine horror out. “Today a video appeared of the occupiers brutally killing a fighter who bravely said the words ‘Glory to Ukraine’,” Zelenskyy said. The authenticity of the video could not initially be verified by an independent party.