“First of all, I am grateful to each of our warriors, to all our defenders who gave us the news we expect. Bakhmut direction – well done, warriors,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
He added that Russia was reacting frantically to Ukrainian forces’ actions and advances: “We see how hysterically Russia perceives every step we take there, every position we take.”
Zelenskyy also singled out two combat units, celebrated their achievements and thanked them: “The 5th separate assault brigade and the 57th separate motorized infantry brigade, which skillfully, decisively and efficiently defend our positions, destroying the occupiers and, most importantly, moving forward.
Earlier on Monday, Moscow claimed to have held off a “large-scale offensive” by Ukrainian forces in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian deputy defense minister said forces have started conducting “offensive actions” in several battlefronts and have achieved some progress in the eastern city of Bakhmut.
The latest developments on the battleground come amid high anticipation of Ukraine’s long-awaited counter-offensive to reclaim occupied territories armed with the latest shipments of Western weapon systems.