President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, on 20 December. He met with the Ukrainian military and decorated the Ukrainian defenders.
Source: FreeDom Telegram news channel; Serhii Nikiforov, press secretary for the Office of the President of Ukraine, and Iryna Pobiedonostseva, General Director of the Directorate for Information and Media Policy at the Office of the President, in a comment for Ukrainska Pravda
Details: According to the FreeDom Telegram news channel, President Zelenskyy has arrived in Bakhmut. The visit of the head of state has not been previously announced.
Updated: Serhii Nykyforov confirmed the visit of Zelenskyy to Bakhmut in a comment to the Ukrainska Pravda. Iryna Pobiedonostseva said that Zelenskyy met with the servicemen, talked to them, and decorated the Ukrainian defenders. The Office of the President will provide the details later.
Corrected: Earlier in the news, it was reported that Zelenskyy is currently in Bakhmut.
For reference: Bakhmut is the hottest spot on the line of contact, which stretches for more than 1,300 kilometres.
Updated: Serhii Nykyforov, the president’s press secretary reported that Zelenskyy had a working visit in Donetsk Oblast where he met with Ukrainian defenders in Bakhmut. The president awarded them with military decorations; these went to mechanised, motorised infantry, mountain and assault, tank, artillery and air assault units.
The president inspected frontline positions held by one of the mechanised brigades, the personnel of which defends approaches to the city. The head of the state listened to the report by the brigade’s commander who commented on the operative situation, material and technical provision and suggested taking further actions.
Quote by Zelenskyy: "The Bakhmut fortress. Our men. Standing brave and unbowed before the enemy, they prove that we will stand tall and will not give up what’s ours. Ukraine is proud of you. I am! Thank you for courage, fortitude and strength that you demonstrate while repelling enemy attacks".
Background: Recently, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation reported that Sergei Shoigu had inspected the "forward positions of Russian units". However, it turned out that the Defence Minister was dozens of kilometres away from the contact line.