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Ukraine troops hold key town, Russia fires more missiles, Zelenskiy says

Ukrainian troops still hold the strategic eastern city of Bakhmut despite multiple Russian attacks, while the situation is very difficult in the Donbass region, President Volodymyr Zilenskiy said on Saturday (15 October).

Zelenskiy also said that Russian drones and missiles continue to strike Ukrainian cities, causing destruction, and deaths.

Officials say that although Ukrainian troops have retaken thousands of square kilometers (miles) in recent offensives in east and south, there is a possibility of slowing progress once Kyiv’s forces face more determined resistance.

The fighting is especially intense in the Donetsk-Luhansk bordering Russia. They make up the larger industrial Donbas which Moscow still has not fully captured.

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Bakhmut is located on the main road that leads to Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, and Russian forces have tried repeatedly to seize it. Both of them are located in the Donetsk area.

“Active fighting continues to take place in different areas of the front. “A very difficult situation persists within the Donetsk and Luhansk regions,” Zelenskiy stated.

“The most difficult situation (as in previous days) is in Bakhmut’s direction. We will not give up on our positions.”

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Separately, the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces stated in a Facebook post, that they had repelled 11 Russian attacks on Saturday near Kramatorsk and Bakhmut, as well as the town of Avdiivka just to the north.

Zelenskiy stated that Russian forces had fired cruise missiles at several Ukrainian cities Monday and had also hit targets in seven other regions over the past two days.

“Some missiles and drones were destroyed, but not all.” He said that there was destruction and death. Kyiv stated Friday that it expects the United States and Germany this month to deliver advanced anti-aircraft systems.

Zelenskiy also stated that almost 65,000 Russians have been killed since the February 24 invasion. This figure is far greater than Moscow’s Sept. 21 official estimate at 5,937 dead. The Pentagon reported that Russia had suffered between 70,000 to 80,000 casualties in August, with either deaths or injuries.

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