Bakhmut: Russia would get ‘open road’ to Ukraine if Bakhmut falls: Zelenskyy

Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian army would have an “open road” to eastern Ukraine if they captured the besieged city of BakhmutUS media reported on Tuesday.
“We understand that after Bakhmut they could go further. They could go to Kramatorsk, they could go to Sloviansk, it would be an open road for the Russians after Bakhmut to other cities in Ukraine, in the direction of Donetsk “, he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. in an interview set to air in the United States on Wednesday.
The Russian army has vowed to capture the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, a symbolic price after months of fierce fighting, as a precursor to deeper offensives in Ukraine.
The Battle of Bakhmut – a salt mining town with a pre-war population of 80,000 – was the longest and bloodiest of the more than a year-long Russian invasion that devastated swaths of Ukraine and displaced millions of people.
Russia seems intent on seizing the city at any cost.
“Capturing (Bakhmut) will allow new offensive operations deep into the defense lines of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told military officials in a televised meeting on Tuesday.
Zelenskyy told CNN his armed forces are determined to stay in Bakhmut.
“I had a meeting with the chief of staff yesterday and the chief military commanders online and offline…and they’re all saying we have to stay strong in Bakhmut,” he said.
“Of course, we have to think about the lives of our military. But we have to do everything we can while we get weapons, supplies and our army prepares for the counteroffensive.”


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