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Zelensky: Bakhmut and Soledar ‘hold on in spite of everything,’ more units to be sent to defense of key cities

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 8, 2023 10:26 PM 1 min read
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President Volodymyr Zelensky in a video address on Jan. 8 said that despite Russia's attacks on both strategic cities in the eastern Donetsk Oblast, the Ukrainian military “repelled the constant attempts of the Russian offensive there.” He added that there is not a piece of land between two cities, where “occupiers would not give his life for the crazy ideas of the leadership of the Russian regime.”

“This is one of the bloodiest places on the front,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky also reported that Ivan Syrskyi, commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, visited both Bakhmut and Soledar on Jan.8, giving out medals to soldiers and taking steps to improve the defense of both cities.

Since the liberation of Kherson in November, Russia intensified its offensive around Bakhmut and nearby settlments. The salt-mining town of Soledar, only 10 kilometers northeast of Bakhmut, is a key stronghold for the Ukrainian defense of the embattled city.

On Jan. 6, multiple Russian sources claimed significant breakthroughs in Soledar, with some saying that the city had been captured entirely.

While Ukrainian officials have denied the loss of the city, some, including Donetsk Oblast Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, acknowledged that Russian forces had had "some success."

On Jan. 7, the Institute for the Study of War reported that the recent Russian gains in Soledar "do not portend an imminent encirclement of Bakhmut."

Hell in high definition: Inside front-line aerial unit surveilling battle of Bakhmut
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