"Difficult, painful" situation in Donbas, says Zelenskyy

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By Euronews  with AP and AFP
A Ukrainian soldier walks in an underground command center in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022.
A Ukrainian soldier walks in an underground command center in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022.   -   Copyright  AP Photo

As fierce fighting continues around the city of Bakhmut, Ukraine's front-line troops receive treatment at a local hospital. They've been battling for weeks to defend the city from Russian forces hoping to seize the area and consolidate their grip on Ukraine's east. In his nightly address on Monday, President Zelenskyy praised his soldiers for holding the line:

"Bakhmut, Kreminna and other areas in Donbas, now require maximum strength and concentration. The situation there is difficult, painful. The occupiers are using all the resources available to them, and these are significant resources, to squeeze out at least some advance. And I thank all our guys who hold their positions firmly, stand strong, and who nevertheless find opportunities not only to not lose anything but also to drive the occupiers out, to ‘subtract’ them."

Zelenskyy also said that ongoing electricity blackouts are affecting some nine million people across the country, but the number and duration of outages are gradually decreasing.

Meanwhile, residents in the capital Kyiv have been gathering supplies to send to civilians in Kherson. The city was liberated last month but continues to be the target of intense Russian shelling.

"We are freezing in Kyiv too," says Kirill Mlinarich, "There is no electricity, but there are people facing worse conditions than us."

As the conflict in Ukraine enters its 11th month, more and more businesses in Russia and illegally-annexed Crimea, are reorienting their production to meet the needs of the Russian army. Employees at this garment factory in illegally-annexed Crimea are sewing thermal underwear to send to Russian servicemen facing freezing temperatures on the front line.