The defense of the strategic Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine, which is reportedly almost fully encircled by Russian forces, is going to be intensified, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said.
The fight for Artyomovsk – a major foothold and logistics hub for Kiev’s forces in Russia’s Donetsk People’s Republic – has been raging since August.
In a video address late on Wednesday, Zelensky spoke about the decisions made during a meeting he’d had with Ukraine’s top military officials earlier in the day, which featured “reports from the Commander-in-Chief, intelligence and commanders of directions.”
Bakhmut and Khortitsa, the largest island on the Dnepr River, which is part of the Ukrainian-held city of Zaporozhye, remain “the main focus” for the country’s armed forces, he said.
“The clear position of the entire Staff is to reinforce this direction, to inflict maximum possible damage upon the occupiers,” the president stated.
Zelensky’s office also said in a separate statement that “a common position regarding the further holding and defense of the city of Bakhmut” was expressed at the high-profile gathering.