President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has clarified why Ukraine cannot afford to relinquish control over the city of Bakhmut. In an interview with Al Arabiya on April 23, President Zelensky emphasized that the capture of Bakhmut could serve as a bridgehead for Russia to launch attacks on Kramatorsk and Slovyansk, thus posing a significant threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity.
"It is impossible for us to give up on Bakhmut because this will [help] expand the battlefront and give the Russian forces and Wagner chances to seize more of our lands," President Zelenskyi stated.
While some analysts argue that Bakhmut has limited strategic value, President Zelensky remains resolute in Ukraine's stance to defend the city. He urged others to visit Bakhmut to fully grasp the potential consequences and threats Ukraine is facing.
Despite the challenging situation, President Zelensky expressed confidence in Ukraine's ability to repel the Russian invasion. He highlighted that the Ukrainian army is preparing for a counteroffensive, and he believes it will be successful.
"I cannot describe the situation as good, but we are fighting. We are stronger than we were a year ago... Our army is getting ready, and we are doing everything we can in order to make it stronger," President Zelenskyi stated.
He expressed gratitude to Ukraine's allies for their support but also emphasized, once again, that supporting Ukraine is in their own interest as Russia's aggression will not stop at Ukraine's borders if it wins.
"To our allies, support us because, first and foremost, this is a cheap price that you have to pay because Russia will go beyond what I has already done," President Zelenskyi stressed.
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