Donetsk, Mar 16 — DAN. Ukrainian authorities led by President Vladimir Zelensky do not intend to order their troops to withdraw from Artyomovsk (called Bakhmut in Ukraine), Donetsk People’s Republic Acting Head Denis Pushilin said on Thursday.

“The Artyomovsk situation remains complicated and difficult,"Pushilin said on Russia 24 news channel."We do not see the prerequisites for the enemy withdrawing his units, or rather, for saving them: this would be the right expression for Zelensky.”

It is increasingly difficult to deliver reinforcement and munitions along the only road to Artyomovsk available to Ukrainian troops as “Wagner” private military company units have stepped up control of the road, he added.

“We see the buildup of certain forces in Chasov Yar, but this cannot stop our units, ” Pushilin said.

Artyomovsk is a large district center and a fortified area of the Ukrainian army north of Gorlovka. It has been occupied by Ukrainian forces since 2014. The prewar Artyomovsk had machine building, metallurgical and construction companies. The Artyomovsk Champagne Wines Factory is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. Fierce fighting for the town has continued for several months. Western military experts and politicians said that Ukrainian army manpower losses had run into thousands.*jk