Battles of Soledar and Bakhmut critical for liberating Donbas, Zelenskyy says

10 January, 05:05 AM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS)

Ongoing fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine – particularly around Soledar and Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast – will be decisive in the effort to liberate Donbas from Russian occupation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his Jan. 9 evening address.

“The battle for Donbas continues,” said Zelenskyy.

“And although the invaders have now concentrated their greatest efforts on Soledar, the result of this difficult and lengthy battle still will be the liberation of our entire Donbas.”

Zelenskyy thanked the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who defend Bakhmut, as well as the fighters in Soledar who continue withstand major Russian assaults.

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“Thanks to the resilience of our soldiers there, in Soledar, we won vital time and additional (military) capacity for Ukraine,” the president added.

Zelenskyy noted that Russia didn’t gain anything from the assault on Soledar, succeeding only in effectively razing the town, at the cost of “thousands” of its troops.

“The area near Soledar is covered with corpses of (Russian) invaders and craters from (artillery) strikes,” the president concluded.

After their previous attempt had failed, Russian forces began another major assault of Soledar, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, said in a Telegram post on Jan. 9.

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