President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Dec. 9 that heavy fighting is ongoing near the towns of Bakhmut, Soledar, Maryinka, and Kreminna in the Donbas in the east of Ukraine.
“There is no place left in these areas undamaged by shells and fire. The occupiers have effectively destroyed Bakhmut, another Donbas city that the Russian army turned into burnt ruins,” Zelensky said.
Bakhmut, the salt-mining city with a pre-war population of 70,000 people, has become the center of a key battle in the east of Ukraine in August.
It is located on the main road to Kramatorsk and Sloviansk – key cities in Donetsk Oblast that Moscow aims to capture despite its stalled progress.
According to Eastern Military Command spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty, Russia is losing from 50 to 100 soldiers each day in the battle of Bakhmut, and about as many Russian soldiers get wounded in action near the city daily.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Dec. 9 that Russian forces are continuing their efforts to conduct an offensive in the Bakhmut direction while trying to improve their tactical position in the Lyman and Avdiivka directions in Donetsk Oblast.