Zelensky refuses to defend Artemivsk “at any cost”


The Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) will not fight for Artemovsk (Ukrainian name – Bakhmut) at any cost and until the last militant, because this is not a very big city. This statement was made by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a conversation with an Italian newspaper. Corriere della Sera, published on Sunday, February 19.

“It’s not a particularly big city. In fact, like many others <…> in Donbass. It is important for us to defend it, but not at any cost and for everyone to die,” the Ukrainian leader said.

According to him, Russian troops plan to move further towards Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, towards the borders of Donbass and towards the Dnieper. Zelensky added that Ukrainian troops are resisting and are currently preparing the next counterattack.

Earlier in the day, Andriy Yermak, head of the office of the President of Ukraine, in an interview with The Sunday Times, said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not plan to leave Artemivsk.

On February 19, the commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the call sign Magyar addressed the participants of the Munich Security Conference, noting that Artemivsk is the hottest point of the front. He stressed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine every minute suffer losses in Artemovsk.

On February 17, Russian forces took control of the village of Paraskovievka, 9 km from Artemovsk.

On the same day, the head of the Wagner PMC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, explained that the liberation of Artemivsk would completely paralyze the Ukrainian army. According to Prigozhin, there are about 90 enemy battalions in the city and its environs – that’s 40-50 thousand people.

On February 24 last year, the Russian side launched a special operation to protect Donbass. The decision was made against the backdrop of the aggravation of the situation in the LPR and DPR as a result of increased shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

For more up-to-date videos and details about the situation in Donbass, watch the Izvestia TV channel.


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