Zelenskiy calls situation on Ukrainian front 'extremely acute'

Jan 27 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday said the situation at the front remained "extremely acute", particularly in the eastern Donetsk region where Russia is stepping up an offensive.

Zelenskiy reported major battles for Vuhledar, to the southwest of Donetsk, and Bakhmut, to the northeast. Bakhmut has largely been pulverised by repeated Russian attacks.

"The occupiers are not just storming our positions, they are deliberately and methodically destroying the towns and villages around them, with artillery, air strikes, missiles," he said in an evening video address. "The Russian army has no shortage of lethal means and can only be stopped by force."

The area around Bakhmut, with a pre-war population of 70,000, has seen some of the most brutal fighting of the 11-month-old war. The town has symbolic importance for both Russia and Ukraine, though Western military analysts say it has little strategic significance.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Mark Porter and Leslie Adler

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