The area around the eastern Ukrainian cities of Bakhmut and Soledar is “one of the bloodiest places on the front line.”
This is what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his night speech on Sunday, foreign media write.
Bakhmut has become perhaps the most contested part of the 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) front line in Ukraine and the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
The greater Donetsk region, home to Bakhmut and Soledar, has been held by Russian-backed separatists since 2014 and is one of four Ukrainian regions that Moscow claims as Russian territory in violation of international law.
However, the Ukrainian president said on Sunday that both cities are “holding strong” and “the situation on the front line has not changed significantly in the first week of the year”.
“… Even though most of the city has been destroyed by Russian attacks, our fighters repel ongoing Russian offensive efforts there,” he was quoted as saying.
“Soledar is also being held. Although there is even more destruction there and it is extremely difficult.”