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Article: Zelenskiy commends troops after Bakhmut gains

Zelenskiy commends troops after Bakhmut gains

Zelenskiy commends troops after Bakhmut gains

PHOTO CAPTION: Illustrative photo by Reuters


(Reuters) -President Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised Ukrainian troops on Monday after his top ground commander said the country's forces continued to move forward near the long-contested city of Bakhmut in northern Donetsk.

"I am grateful to each of our soldiers, to all our defenders, men and women, who have given us today the news have been waiting for. Well done, soldiers in the Bakhmut sector!" Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

He did not provide further detail. The commander of Ukraine's ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, said earlier that his forces continued "moving forward" near Bakhmut. Russian fighters and officials said the situation there was "very difficult" for Moscow.

Russia claimed late last month to have captured Bakhmut following what had become the war's longest and bloodiest battle, but Ukraine has insisted its forces retained a small foothold and denied that Moscow was in full control of the city.

Zelenskiy said Russia was reacting "hysterically" to any action undertaken by Ukrainian forces and singled out two units who "skillfully, decisively and effectively defend our positions, destroy the occupiers and, most importantly, move forward".

Russia's military said it had thwarted two major Ukrainian offensives against its forces in eastern Ukraine since Sunday, but Ukrainian officials have made no mention of any broad, significant new campaign and sidestepped questions on the matter on Monday.

(Reporting by Ron Popeski and Oleksander Kozhukhar; Editing by Leslie Adler and Lincoln Feast)



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