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Kiev decides on defense of key Donbass city


President Zelensky’s office has announced that Ukrainian troops will not leave Bakhmut

Kiev has decided to keep holding and defending the strategic Donbass city of Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut, President Vladimir Zelensky’s office announced on Tuesday. The city has seen some of the most brutal fighting amid Russia’s year-long military campaign in Ukraine.

President Zelensky met with his top military officials to hear the reports of the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, as well as battlefield commanders, who explained the situation on the frontline.

After considering the progress of the defensive operation in the Bakhmut direction, all members of the Staff expressed a common position regarding the further holding and defense of the city of Bakhmut,” a statement on the Presidential Office website read.

Kiev officials also discussed the provision of weapons and ammunition to the front lines, as well as the rates and quantities of Western arms shipments, and their distribution to military groups, according to the statement.

The fight for Artyomovsk – a major foothold and logistics hub for Kiev’s forces in the Donetsk People’s Republic – has been raging since August. Russian forces have captured several villages in the region, and recently almost surrounded the city, according to Wagner Private Military Company chief Evgeny Prigozhin. While the situation on the battlefield is constantly changing, last week Prigozhin claimed that Russian forces were also in control of the eastern half of the city.

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