Ukrainian army to hold Bakhmut ‘as long as it is reasonable’, President Zelenskyy says

20 February, 11:35 AM
Destroyed by the Russians, Bakhmut of the Donetsk Oblast (Photo:REUTERS/Yevhen Titov)

Destroyed by the Russians, Bakhmut of the Donetsk Oblast (Photo:REUTERS/Yevhen Titov)

The Armed Forces of Ukraine will continue to defend Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, but "not at any cost”, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera quoted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as saying on Feb. 19.

"Indeed, this is not a particularly large city," Zelenskyy said.

“Actually, [it is] like many others in the Donbas devastated by Russians. It is important for us to defend it, but not at any cost and not for everyone to die. We will fight as long as it is reasonable, because the Russians want to proceed to Kramatorsk and Slovyansk, up to the borders of Donbas and to Dnipro if they can. We are resisting, and in the meantime, we are preparing the next counterattack.”

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He noted that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is trying to drag out the war, but Kyiv is determined to have a short war and win.

"The sooner it ends, the fewer victims we will have," the Ukrainian president stated.

“In 2014, the conflict was frozen, and it did not benefit us. The Minsk agreements gave Putin time to prepare for a surprise attack last year, we will not fall into the same trap again. Our soldiers are more motivated because they are defending their families and their homes. On the other hand, we see that economic sanctions against Moscow are a great help, they give us time and space to organize ourselves.”

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