KEY POINTS

  • Zelensky said that Ukrainian forces have no alternative but to fight against the Russians
  • Russians have been accused of using 'scorched-earth' tactics in the Donbas region
  • At least 50 to 100 people are being killed each day in eastern Ukraine: Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has predicted that the coming weeks of the war against Russia will still be difficult, adding that the Russians are showing no signs of surrendering occupied areas.

In an address published by the president’s office Monday, Zelensky said Russia is positioning some of its reserves in some areas in Ukraine in an attempt to "reinforce their positions" and noted that it may make the next few weeks of the war difficult. However, he added that Ukrainian forces will continue fighting to "free our land and our people" from the Russians.

"The coming weeks of the war will be difficult. And we must be aware of that. Yet we have no alternative but to fight. Fight and win. Free our land and our people. Because the occupiers want to take away from us not just something, but everything we have. Including the right to life for Ukrainians," Zelensky said in the address.

The Ukrainian president added that the fighting will likely be most difficult in the eastern Donbas region, where Russian troops have been accused of using "scorched-earth" tactics, a military strategy that aims to destroy anything deemed useful to the enemy, including weapons, transport vehicles and industrial resources.

"The most difficult fighting situation today is in Donbas. Bakhmut, Popasna, Severodonetsk - in this direction the occupiers have concentrated the greatest activity so far. They organized a massacre there and are trying to destroy everything living there. Literally. Nobody destroyed Donbas as much as the Russian army does now," he added.

As of Sunday, a total of 3,930 Ukrainian civilians across the country have been killed in the war, including 3,673 adults and 257 children, according to estimates from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner.

The number of causalities in the Donbas region is unclear. However, Zelensky on Sunday said that between 50 to 100 people are being killed each day in eastern Ukraine, where Russia has focused its offensive in recent weeks.

In contrast, approximately 29,050 Russian soldiers have died in the war in Ukraine as of Sunday, as reported by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense.

The fighting in the Donbas region, near the former frontline between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists, has been intense
The fighting in the Donbas region, near the former frontline between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists, has been intense AFP
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