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Zelensky honors soldiers in the midst of the defense of Bakhmut battle

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Volodomyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, paid tribute to his soldiers on Sunday who was engaged in the “painful and difficult” conflict for the country’s frontline eastern Donbas region.

After the general staff of Ukraine reported that its forces had repelled “more than 130 enemy attacks” the day before, including in Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, and Avdiivka, he made his remarks.

The eastern city that Moscow has been trying to take over for months was described as “the enemy’s attempts to encircle the town of Bakhmut” early on Sunday.

The “fortress Bakhmut,” which Russian forces appear determined to seize, will be defended by Ukraine. The city, which has been almost completely destroyed in the fighting, has little actual strategic value, according to analysts.

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However, as the conflict’s longest and bloodiest battle drags on, its outcome has come to have greater symbolic significance than military importance.

In his daily address, Zelensky said, “I would like to pay special tribute to the bravery, strength, and resilience of the soldiers fighting in the Donbas.

“One of the toughest battles is this one. difficult and painful.”

Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, and Roberta Metsola, the president of the European Parliament, can be seen taking a selfie in this handout photo that was taken and made public by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service on March 4, 2023, while they are meeting with university students in Lviv. (Image by Handout; obtained from the AFP/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

Donetsk and Lugansk, which Russia asserts to have annexed despite never having complete control over it, make up the Donbas.

The Ukrainian army had “repelled assaults, destroyed the occupier, undermined enemy positions and logistics, and protected our borders and cities,” according to Zelensky.

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However, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), based in the US, issued a warning on Saturday that Bakhmut’s supply routes through Ukraine were becoming more constrained.

The Ukrainian command has indicated that it will probably withdraw rather than take the chance of being encircled, the statement continued. “The Russians may have intended to encircle Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut.

Russian competition

A video purportedly showing Wagner fighters in the suburbs north of Bakhmut after seizing control of the Stupki railway station was posted online by pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region.

Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army, Wagner, has assumed center stage in the battle for the city, exposing tensions with Russia’s traditional forces.

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Already on Friday, Prigozhin claimed that only one road was still under Ukrainian control and that his fighters had “practically encircled” Bakhmut.

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