Kyiv, Feb 28 (EFE).- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned that the situation in the eastern city of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, “is becoming more and more difficult.”
“Bakhmut direction – the situation is getting more and more difficult. The enemy is constantly destroying everything that can be used to protect our positions, to gain a foothold and ensure defense,” Zelensky said in his customary late-night address to the nation.
“Our warriors defending the Bakhmut sector are real heroes,” the Ukrainian president added. “I am grateful to each and every person who is heroically holding this direction and other directions in Donbas.”
Russian forces have been trying to seize the city of Bakhmut, which sits on the eastern frontline, for months amid fierce Ukrainian resistance.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, a United States think tank, Russian forces could be trying to “institutionalize practices used to marginal tactical effect by the Wagner Group in Bakhmut.”
Russia’s war of attrition in the region has so far failed to secure gains for Kremlin forces, the ISW latest report added.
“Such tactics are likely to waste Russian combat power and not effectively counter conventional Ukrainian battalions and brigades,” and are “unlikely to make operationally significant breakthroughs rapidly with this formation,” the ISW report said.
In his speech, Zelenskyy recalled how Monday saw an attack using Iranian-made drones across various towns and called on international allies to deploy military jets to Ukraine.
“That is why we need the aviation component of air defense – modern combat aircraft – to protect the entire territory of our country from Russian terror. Air defense is complete only when it is backed by aviation. Modern aviation,” he said.
“Our pilots, together with our anti-aircraft gunners, together with all the warriors and specialists of our Air Forces, are already doing a great job. But we will be able to fully protect the sky when the aviation taboo in relations with our partners is lifted,” Zelenskyy added.
On Monday, United States Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen made a surprise visit to Kyiv to reaffirm US support for Ukraine.
Zelenskyy said he had thanked the US official “for the vital financial support” adding that they had discussed “the needs for reconstruction in Ukraine and the restoration of justice for our people and the entire free world, which means launching a real mechanism of compensation for the damage caused by this war.”
“Compensation at the cost of Russian assets,” he concluded.EFE