The defense of the Ukrainian army in Donbass – eastern Ukraine – a priority target for Moscow’s troops is “vital” for Kyiv and will “give an indication” of the course of the war with Russia, he said Tuesday night. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“It’s vital that we stay in Donbass (…). Defending this area is crucial to giving an indication of who will dominate (on the battlefield) in the coming weeks,” Zelensky told his daily videotaped sermon downloaded on the Telegram platform.
“We have to endure,” he insisted in front of the presidency building in Kyiv as Russian troops slowly but steadily advanced on Donbass, approaching the entire Luhansk region.
Fighting in Severondonetsk and Lisichansk, cities with about 100,000 inhabitants before the war, has been raging for days. If the Russian army captures them, it is then expected to target Slavyansk, 70 km west.
“The more casualties the enemy suffers, the less force he will have to continue his attack,” the Ukrainian head of state said.
However, he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Kharkiv (eastern) Kharkiv region, where the Russian army was trying to strengthen its position.
Another area where fighting is raging is Hersonissos, in the south, he added. “We continue to put pressure on the occupying forces,” Zelenski said.
“The key goal is the liberation of Kherson, the capital of the region, which was occupied by Russian troops at the end of February, and” we will move forward step by step until we achieve it, “he promised.