Europe World

Zelensky Visits Troops Near ‘Difficult’ Front Line
President Zelensky near the Donetsk front line

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has visited troops in the eastern Donetsk region, which Russia claims as its own after a sham referendum.

The area – particularly around the town of Bakhmut – is now the main focus of fierce fighting after Ukraine’s forces retook Kherson in the south last month.

Russia and its proxies have controlled parts of Donetsk since 2014.

On Tuesday evening, new Russian strikes were reported in the central-eastern Dnipropetrovsk region.

One person was injured after an industrial facility was hit in the city of Kryvyi Rih, regional head Valentyn Reznichenko said.

This comes after Monday’s massive Russian missile strikes that again targeted critical civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

The country is now seeing snow and sub-zero temperatures in many regions, and millions are without electricity and running water, raising fears people may die of hypothermia

Speaking on the Day of the Armed Forces on Tuesday, Mr Zelensky called the fighting around Bakhmut the “most difficult area that protects not only the east, but our entire state”.

But he said he believed Ukraine would take back all the land occupied by Russia, including Crimea – Ukraine’s southern peninsula annexed by Russia eight years ago.

There have been intense battles for many weeks near Bakhmut as Russia attempts to take more territory after a string of battlefield defeats in other parts of Ukraine.

British intelligence believes that Russia’s efforts there are being led by the private military contractor, Wagner Group.

It’s thought both sides have suffered heavy losses in the area. The battle for Bakhmut has been compared to fighting during World War One because of the trenches, charred trees and mud that have become a feature of the landscape.

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