Ukraine’s largest problem is defending the town of Bakhmut, President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned in his nightly video message Tuesday.

“Essentially the most troublesome scenario, nonetheless, is in Bakhmut and the battles which might be important for the protection of the town,” he mentioned.

Zelensky mentioned Russia was struggling heavy losses across the japanese metropolis, based mostly on an replace from his commanders. “Russia will not be counting folks in any respect, constantly sending them to assault our positions. The depth of the combating is rising,” he mentioned.

His account tallies with what commanders on the bottom have reported concerning the depth of Russian assaults and the casualties they’ve sustained.

There have been additionally over 30 Russian assaults on the Kherson area within the south, the president mentioned.

Some context: CNN reported in January that individuals acquainted with Zelensky’s considering mentioned he doesn’t consider {that a} Russian victory in Bakhmut is a fait accompli, and that he stays reluctant to present it up. Holding Bakhmut would give Ukraine a greater likelihood at taking again your entire Donbas area, Zelensky believes, and that if Russia wins, it’s going to give them a gap to advance additional to the strategically essential japanese cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk.

Bakhmut can also be an essential image of Ukrainian resistance.

Zelensky visited Bakhmut simply earlier than touring to Washington DC in December, the place he informed US lawmakers that “each inch of that land is soaked in blood, roaring weapons sound each hour. The battle for Bakhmut will change the tragic story of our warfare for independence and of freedom.”

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