While the situation in the east of Ukraine remains difficult, yet the Ukrainian army has still managed to make some small gains in Donetsk Oblast, Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar said on Telegram on Jan. 8.
"At some parts of the front line in Donetsk Oblast we’re slowly moving forward step by step,” Malyar wrote.
“The enemy is also attacking in some places not only with the regular army, but also with mercenary forces,” she went on.
“They've put a lot of effort into reaching the border of Donetsk Oblast or to seize some settlement there, at least for the sake of propaganda. As for now, it's really hard in Soledar."
Soledar is a small town to the north and east of Bakhmut, a key Donetsk Oblast town that Russian forces have been attempting to capture for around six months. Russian sources claim that Russian invasion forces have captured the town, but the Ukrainian army denies this.
Malyar also said that the Ukrainian army mostly consists of conscripted soldiers, not professional military.
"As a morally mature society, we have to realise that people, who were civilians just recently, re undergoing a tough moral and physical ordeal from the realities of war,” Malyar said.
“All people are different, so they deal differently with it. But they do it for the sake of our common valuable goal of our victory, and securing Ukraine’s sovereignty.”