Ukraine will fight to hold on to the eastern city of Bakhmut for as long as it can, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday.
"No one will surrender Bakhmut. We will fight as long as we can. We consider Bakhmut our fortress," Zelensky said at a news conference in Kyiv alongside top European Union officials following a Ukraine-EU summit.
Zelensky also urged the West to supply long-range weapons to help Kyiv stay in Bakhmut and push Russian troops out of the Donbas region.
The Ukrainian president said that Russia wants revenge for its military failures.
"Russia wants revenge. Revenge in the east where they didn't succeed. They want to take the east. Our task is not to give them this chance by strengthening our army with necessary weapons. I think we have every chance," Zelensky said.
Ukrainian officials have said in recent weeks they believe Russia is preparing for a spring offensive.
What else happened at the summit: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that a 10th round of EU sanctions against Russia is "on its way."
The sanctions on Russia should be targeted at stopping Moscow from rebuilding its military capability, Zelensky said.
Von der Leyen also commended Zelensky on his domestic reform work in his country's bid for EU membership.
“Your determination to forge ahead is impressive. You're taking important steps with all the reforms forward to meet the recommendations, and we should not forget you are doing this while you are fighting against an aggressor,” she said.
“Rest assured that your progress will be reflected in our important enlargement report that is due in autumn for the member states," she added.