Mar 13, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Ukraine’s president says more than 1100 Russian soldiers have been killed in the last week as the battle for the eastern city of Bakhmut rages on.

During his nightly addressed, Volodomyr Zelenskyy also claimed another 1500 Russian soldiers have been injured, dozens of Russian vehicles have been destroyed, and ten ammunition vehicles have been reduced to rubble.

Walter Dorn is a professor of defence studies at Royal Military College in Kingston.

He explains that Bakhmut is not that important strategically from a military point of view, but he says the Russians would use it as a big propaganda victory.

“The battle’s been raging there for over six months and that means there’s a test of wills here,” Dorn told CP24, “The real victory, or the real challenge for the Ukrainian government will be in the area of the capitol of Donetsk and that’s only 40-50 kilometres away.”

At the same time, the mayor of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv is inviting Canadians to visit, saying one of the best ways for Canadians to support the embattled country’s economy is to come see it for themselves.

(Lviv cityscape at early spring, Ukraine)

“If you’re brave, welcome to Lviv,” says mayor Andriy Sadovyi, spreading his arms wide to gesture to his beautiful city.

The mayor spoke to The Canadian Press from his office in the city’s town hall, in the heart of the cobblestoned streets of Old Town.

The Lviv area is relatively safe compared with the rest of the country.

Despite the mayor’s welcome, the municipality cannot actively encourage people to enter Ukraine. There is no way to guarantee they will not be targeted by a Russian missile attack, Khrystyna Lebed, who heads the tourism centre, said through a translator.

A travel advisory form the Canadian government strongly urges Canadians to avoid all travel to Ukraine because of the risks posed by the Russian invasion.

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