Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an unannounced visit to the front-line town of Bakhmut, where Ukrainian and Russian forces have been battling for a month. According to the president’s office, he met with the military and presented the soldiers with awards. Bakhmut has been a key target for Russian forces in the Donetsk region and has been heavily damaged. However, Ukrainian forces were able to stop the advance. The visit is an important show of defiance and support for the Ukrainian army, which has been engaged in some of the fiercest fightings in recent weeks. His visit will draw comparisons to recent public appearances by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin visited Minsk on Monday for the first time in over three years to meet with his longtime ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
“I believe that the Bahamut hero should be well, warm, and healthy with what all humans have, children and families,” he said. “I wish they had light, but it’s a very difficult situation to have light and not have light. The important thing is that they have light within.” He said the Russians had already lost 99,000 soldiers in the war. However, this figure cannot be independently verified, and neither Russia nor Ukraine has disclosed the full extent of the losses. Zelensky added: “Since May, the occupiers have been trying to destroy our bakhmut, but time will pass, and the bakhmut will destroy not only the Russian army but also the Russian mercenaries who will come to replace the vain army of the occupiers. To do.” He was referring to a mysterious group of Wagner mercenaries actively fighting near Bakhmut. Presidential spokesman Serhiy Nikiforov said Mr. Zelensky left the city before the visit was announced. The president has previously visited other recently liberated cities, including Kherson and Izum.
It could pave the way for Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, major cities in the Donbass region still under Ukrainian control. However, with Ukraine stepping up its defenses in the region, Russia’s victory here is believed to be only symbolic. Both sides suffered heavy casualties, and both Russian and Ukrainian commanders nicknamed it the “meat grinder.” The city, which had a population of 70,000 before the war, is now home to only a few civilians. Today is her 300th day since Russia invaded Ukraine. Undersecretary of Defense Hanna Maryal, who also visited Bakhmut, wrote on her Facebook page: “What is 300 days of the struggle for liberation from Russia over 300 years?
“We stand. fought. we win!