The situation in Donbass is “difficult, acute” for Ukraine: Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday the situation in Ukraine’s Donbass region is “difficult” as Russian forces continue to use available resources to make some progress.

“The front line – Bakhmut, Kreminna and other areas of Donbass – which now require maximum strength and concentration. The situation there is difficult, acute. The occupiers are using all the resources at their disposal — and they are significant resources — to squeeze out at least some progress,” Zelenskyy said in a public address, without giving details about the type of resources the Russians are using to fight in the Ukraine to make progress.

Kreminna, a city in Luhansk Oblast, has not yet been liberated, although Russian forces have withdrawn and moved to Rubizhne, a nearby city just over 9 miles from the front lines, according to Serhiy Haidai, Ukraine’s chief of forces Lugansk Regional Military Administration.

“The reports that our military has already liberated Kreminna or at least advanced to its outskirts are not true, but fighting continues near the city and I can say that the command of a certain squadron stationed in Kreminna was now transferred to Rubizhne,” Haidai said on Monday, Ukrinform reported.

The situation in Donbas is
Above, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a working session at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv on June 16. Zelenskyy said Monday that the situation in Ukraine’s Donbass region is “difficult” as Russian forces continue to use available resources to make some progress.
Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Haidai also said the Russians failed to organize a counteroffensive against Lyman, a city in the Donetsk region, after Ukrainian forces were able to thwart the plan.

“They had such plans, but thanks to the Ukrainian command, which uncovered their plot and saw the entire map of military developments, the Ukrainian Defense Forces prevented the occupying forces from implementing their plans. You didn’t make it [the] counteroffensive. But they’re pulling up the reserves now,” he said.

Zelenskyy on Monday commended efforts to deter Russian attacks and thanked the Ukrainian armed forces for “holding their positions tight, staying strong and yet finding ways not only to have nothing to lose, but to drive out the occupiers, withdraw’ them.”

“Today I want to celebrate the 10th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade that captured the occupiers in the Donetsk region. This is very important. This will allow us to release more Ukrainians,” he said. “I will also celebrate the 80th and 95th Separate Airborne Assault Brigades for successfully destroying enemy forces heading towards Lyman. Well done guys! The more the occupiers lose, the more time we all gain for Ukraine.”

Earlier this month, Ukraine’s president made similar remarks about the Donbass, describing attacking the region as “very difficult” as Russian forces had effectively “destroyed” Bakhmut.

Zelenskyy said at the time that he had “discussed the situation at the front and the winter prospects on the battlefield” during a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The Ukrainian president said areas of the Donbass have become lifeless wastelands after ongoing fighting with Russian forces.

“The situation on the front remains very difficult in key areas of Donbass – Bakhmut, Soledar, Maryinka, Kreminna…,” Zelenskyy said at the time. “For a long time there was no living space on the land of these areas that was not damaged by shells and fire. The occupiers even destroyed Bakhmut, another Donbass city that the Russian army turned into a burned ruin.”

news week has asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for an opinion. The situation in Donbass is “difficult, acute” for Ukraine: Zelenskyy

Rick Schindler

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