Operations to defend Bakhmut will continue : Volodymyr Zelensky

Kiev : Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the operations to defend Bakhmut will continue, and the army has been instructed to find forces to bolster the defence of the embattled city.

“I told the Chief of Staff to find the appropriate forces to help the guys in Bakhmut. There is no part of Ukraine about which one can say that it can be abandoned,” Zelensky said on Monday during his evening address to the nation.

Moscow has been trying to take Bakhmut for months, as both sides suffer heavy losses in a grinding war of attrition, the BBC reported. However, Deputy Mayor Oleksandr Marchenko has said that Russia had not yet gained control of the city.

Meanwhile Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner private army involved in the Russian campaign, has complained of a lack of ammunition amid apparent friction between his fighters and regular Russian forces, the British news broadcaster reported.

He also said that his representative had been barred from a Russian military headquarters. Analysts say Bakhmut has little strategic value but has become a focal point for Russian commanders who have struggled to deliver any positive news to the Kremlin, the media outlet reported.

Capture of the city would bring Russia slightly closer to its goal of controlling the whole of Donetsk region, one of four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine it annexed last September after referendums widely condemned outside Russia as a sham, it added.