President Volodymyr Zelensky said this at a press conference in Kyiv, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
Answering the question of whether it was possible to fortify the town in advance, the Head of State said: "Bakhmut was not prepared for a full-scale war, it is a small town, but it so happened that such great forces met there. Bakhmut has assumed the function of a magnet, and this is the whole story… I don't want to talk about the details, but people in this direction have been receiving all the best and newest weapons. The best systems, the best artillery. I think there is the most powerful defense that could be planned. This direction is a large, large number of military personnel. If all this were not there, the defense would be impossible."
According to the President, the weapons coming from the partners were immediately redirected to Bakhmut direction. And this is the most important and the only thing that could be done, he emphasized. "No other defense and no other fortification will help there. Only weapons. 50,000 artillery shells are fired there [on Bakhmut direction] every day," Zelensky explained.
He noted that the number of fallen invaders, mostly Wagner Group mercenaries, shows best how powerful Bakhmut's defense is.
"Twenty-one thousand Wagner fighters have been eliminated in Bakhmut, another 60,000 have been wounded. In other words, the Wagner losses there total 81,000 fighters. Is our defense strong there? Are people, commanders there strong? It's obvious," the President said.
As reported, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskyi, the commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, announced on June 5 that the Ukrainian troops were moving forward toward Bakhmut.
Russia has been unsuccessfully trying to take control of Bakhmut for more than eight months.