President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday night said his forces would not yield “a single centimetre” in battles for control of the eastern Donetsk region while Russian-installed officials described Ukrainian forces moving into one southern town with tanks.
The focal points of the conflict in the industrial region of Donetsk are around the towns of Bakhmut, Soledar and Avdiivka, the theatre of the heaviest fighting in the country since Russian forces invaded their neighbour in late February.
“The activity of the occupiers remains at an extremely high level – dozens of attacks every day,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.
“They are suffering extraordinarily high losses. But the order remains the same – to advance on the administrative boundary of Donetsk region. We will not yield a single centimetre of our land,” he said.
The region is one of four Russia claimed to have annexed in late September. Fighting had been going on there between Ukrainian military and Russian proxy forces since 2014, the same year Moscow annexed Crimea in the south.