If Bakhmut fell to Russia, Putin would ‘sell this victory to the West’, says Zelenskyy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)
If the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast fell to Russian forces, their dictator, Vladimir Putin, would “sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press news agency on March 28.
“If he will feel some blood – smell that we are weak – he will push, push, push,” he said.
Zelenskyy predicted that the pressure from a defeat in Bakhmut would come quickly – both from the international community and within his own country.
“Our society will feel tired,” he said.
“Our society will push me to compromise with them.
”The Ukrainian leader warned that a loss anywhere at this stage in the war could put Ukraine’s hard-fought momentum at risk.
“We can’t lose the steps because the war is a pie – pieces of victories. Small victories, small steps,” he said.
According to Ukraine’s General Staff, as of March 29, Russian occupation forces are focusing their main efforts on an offensive on the Bilohorivka, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Maryinka axes.
Russia has thrown more trained units of Wagner mercenaries and Russian regular forces into the Battle of Bakhmut, said Ukrainian ground forces commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi.
Ukrainian defenders need to destroy as many invaders as possible to create the conditions for offensive actions, he said.
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