Zelenskyy visits frontline Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut area
Zelenskyy with defenders of Ukraine in the Bakhmut area on March 22, 2023 (Photo:Press service of the President of Ukraine)
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the frontline positions of the Ukrainian military in the area of the town of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, the presidential office reported on March 22.
During his visit, Zelenskyy heard reports on the operational situation and the course of combat actions at the frontline. The president spoke with the service members in the combat zone, and thanked them for defending Ukraine.
"I am honored to be here today, in the east of our country, in Donbas, and to award our heroes, to thank them, to shake their hands,” he said.“Thank you for protecting the state, our sovereignty, the east of Ukraine,"
Zelenskyy also presented a number of state awards to the Ukrainian defenders.
Captain and artilleryman Illia Verhun, who holds the title of Hero of Ukraine, was awarded with the "Gold Star" Order. He has been repelling armed Russian aggression since Feb. 24, 2022.
He directly led anti-tank missions during the liberation of the city of Trostyanets in Sumy Oblast, and participated in the deterrence of the enemy in the area of Izyum.
Under Verhun's leadership and with his personal involvement, Ukrainian military units have destroyed a great number of the enemy's vehicles.
During the trip, Zelenskyy also visited a hospital where wounded Ukrainian soldiers, including the defenders of Bakhmut, are being treated.
The President awarded Orders for Courage of the third class and medals for military service to Ukraine to the injured defenders.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian army had "some significant success" in the north of Bakhmut on March 14, according to the Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, adding that the significant losses that Russia has taken in the battle have undermined its offensive capabilities.
That same day, Ukraine’s top commanders unanimously confirmed a decision to continue defense of the besieged town.
However, the situation in Bakhmut remains tough, with Wagner Group mercenaries trying to break into the central areas of the city, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, reported.
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