Volodymyr Zelensky visits frontline in Donetsk to award Ukrainian soldiers medals

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky takes a photo with servicemen (AFP via Getty Images)
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky takes a photo with servicemen (AFP via Getty Images)

Volodymyr Zelensky has visited troops on the frontline in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk to award medals to soldiers.

The Ukrainian president posted a video clip on social media of him visiting marines on the Vuhledar-Maryinka defence line on Tuesday afternoon.

He wrote: “Our defenders. Frontline. Today I am here to congratulate our warriors on the day of the Ukrainian marines.

“Glory to everyone who defends Ukraine.”

It comes after Ukraine said on Monday that its forces had made further advances north and south of Bakhmut — which lies 40 miles north of Donetsk — to entrap Russians inside the ruined eastern city.

“By moving along the flanks and occupying certain heights, our armed forces have made it very difficult for the enemy to stay in the city,” said the deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar.

However, conflicting accounts about the fate of Bakhmut emerged, with Russia claiming that it captured the city at the weekend.

Ukrainian officials denied this and insisted that their forces were maintaining a presence in Bakhmut.

But geolocation specialists were leaning closer to the Russian version of events. “The battle of Bakhmut is over,” said the Suriyak channel, which uses live battlefield maps.

Another service geolocated Wagner troops to the south-west of the city, which is thought to be the last remaining Ukrainian stronghold.