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Ukrainian troops ‘firmly holding’ Bakhmut: Zelenskyy

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President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday the situation near the east town of Bakhmut was the “most difficult” on the front line, but Ukrainian troops were holding back Russia’s advances.

“The situation in Bakhmut is the most difficult on the territory of our country,” Zelenskyy told a news conference with visiting Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.


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“It’s not easy for our soldiers in the east but they don’t call it ‘fortress Bakhmut’ for nothing,” he said, adding that Ukrainian forces were “firmly holding” their positions.

Zelenskyy also singled out Vugledar, a town south of Bakhmut that has recently seen heavy fighting.

In his evening address on Tuesday, Zelenskyy had said the situation on the eastern front was “extremely difficult.”

Bakhmut has been at the center of months of heavy fighting in Russia’s nearly year-long offensive in Ukraine, with both sides suffering heavy losses.

The Swedish prime minister said Stockholm would continue to “provide as much support as possible politically” to Ukraine.

Referring to fighter jets that Kyiv has been urging allies to deliver, Kristersson said: “We don’t exclude anything right now.

“But at the same time we also acknowledge the fact that we need an international coalition to take further steps,” he added.

On Wednesday, the governor of the eastern region of Luhansk, which is largely under Russian control, reported an “escalation” near the settlements of Kreminna and Bilogorivka.

Sergiy Gaidai said Russian troops were attacking in “waves” with air support.

In the eastern town of Pokrovsk, strikes hit a residential building on Wednesday, killing at least one person and injuring 12 others, emergency services said.

“At least two other people remain under the rubble,” rescuers said.

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