A soldier currently fighting in Bakhmut said there has been no order to withdraw and they are still repelling Russian attacks, in stark contrast to the head of NATO, who said the city could fall “in the coming days."

 

"We have not received such an order,” the soldier known by the call sign Stone” told Kyiv Post.

 

We are currently engaged in heavy fighting, repelling numerous attacks by the enemy, who outnumber us 10 or 12 to 1.

 

We still have resources. However, we are still waiting for heavy weapons and shells.”

 

In response to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s recent comments that Bakmut could fall “in the coming days,” the serviceman has also called on Ukrainians to listen to their own military leadership instead of foreign officials.

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Stone did confirm that a recent statement from Wagner Chief Yevgeny Prigozhin about capturing the city’s eastern part was true.

 

“They came in from the east and advanced to the Bakhmutka River, a natural barrier, and it will be difficult for the Russians to cross the river, he said.

 

The soldier known by the call sign Stone”.

 

Elsewhere, the head of the President's Office has insisted Ukraine is still holding the line in Bakhmut.

 

Speaking to journalists on Thursday and in response to a question from Kyiv Post, Andriy Yermak said: "Many people are talking about something. The situation is difficult.

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“But our soldiers are holding on."

 

At the same time, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, Olexander Syrsky, said that the urgency of holding the defense of Bakhmut is only growing.

 

“Every day of the city’s defense allows us to gain time to train our reserves and prepare for future offensive operations. At the same time, in the battles for this fortress, the enemy is losing its best-train and most combat-effective troops – the Wagner units,” Syrsky said.

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The Commander drew attention to the latest statements of the founder of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who confirmed that the capture of the city would untie the hands of the occupiers for further offensives.

 

“This once again proves the very important role of Bakhmut in the overall defense system of our group,” Syrsky said. “Thousands of enemies who died during the storming of the city are a vivid confirmation of this.”

 

He added that every day of resistance gives defenders precious time to blunt the offensive power of the Russian invaders.

 

In recent comments to the international media, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that control of the frontline city of Bakhmut hangs in the balance and its loss would be a military disaster for Kyiv.

 

In an exclusive March 7 interview with the US channel CNN, Zelensky said Russian troops would have an “open road” to capture key cities in eastern Ukraine if they seize control of Bakhmut:

 

“We understand that after Bakhmut, they could go farther. They could go to Kramatorsk, they could go to Sloviansk, it would be an open road for the Russians after Bakhmut to other towns in Ukraine, in the Donetsk direction. That’s why our guys are standing there.”

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