Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed confidence that his forces will successfully defend the strategic city of Bakhmut from Russia. The city is a Ukrainian stronghold in the country's eastern region of Donetsk.
Zelenskyy stressed in a video message released on Sunday that Ukrainian forces are repelling the fierce Russian attacks on Bakhmut.
He said his forces "managed to eliminate more than 1,100 enemy soldiers" in Bakhmut alone in less than one week since March 6 and inflicted "irreversible losses" on Russian troops.
The president also said at least 1,500 more Russian soldiers suffered wounds that made it impossible for them to continue fighting. He added that more than 10 Russian ammunition depots were burned.
His remarks come as a Ukrainian military commander expressed determination on Saturday to fend off Russian attacks, pointing to the need to gain time to prepare for a broader counterattack soon.
Zelenskyy said, "We are now living in a time when Ukraine can overcome all historical difficulties."
He said he was grateful to everyone fighting for Ukraine's independence, and called for the country to preserve its unity.