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Ukraine will fight to hold 'fortress' Bakhmut as long as it can - Zelenskiy

UKRAINE-CRISIS-EU-ZELENSKIY-BAKHMUT:Ukraine will fight to hold 'fortress' Bakhmut as long as it can - Zelenskiy
UKRAINE-CRISIS-EU-ZELENSKIY-BAKHMUT:Ukraine will fight to hold 'fortress' Bakhmut as long as it can - Zelenskiy Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
By Reuters
Published on Updated
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KYIV - President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday Ukraine would fight to hold on to the eastern "fortress" city of Bakhmut for as long as it could, and urged the West to supply long-range weapons to help Kyiv push Russian forces out of the Donbas region.

"Nobody will give away Bakhmut. We will fight for as long as we can. We consider Bakhmut our fortress," Zelenskiy told a news conference with top European Union officials following a summit in Kyiv.

"Ukraine would be able to hold Bakhmut and liberate occupied Donbas if it received long-range weapons," he said.

The city of Bakhmut has become the focal point of Ukrainian resistance to Russia's invasion and of Moscow’s drive to regain battlefield momentum.

Russian officials have said Russian forces are encircling Bakhmut from several directions and battling to take control of a road which is also an important supply route for Ukrainian forces.

Zelenskiy said Russia would continue to push in the east but that Ukrainian forces would be able to hold out until more Western weapons arrived.

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