"The situation at the front, and in particular in Donetsk region – near Bakhmut and Vuhledar, remains extremely acute," Zelensky said in a video address late on Friday, as quoted by Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform.
"The occupiers are not just storming our positions – they are deliberately and methodically destroying these towns and villages around them," using "artillery, aviation, missiles," he added.
Zelensky also said that the Russian army "has no shortage of means of destruction" and "can be stopped only by force."
"Our soldiers, who are defending the areas in the Donetsk region, are real heroes," Zelensky said in his message.
"I thank each of you guys for your bravery," he told them.
Ukraine's military authorities said on Saturday that Ukrainian forces "have repelled enemy attacks near 12 settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the past 24 hours," the Ukrinform news agency reported.
"Over the past day, Russian troops have launched 10 missile strikes, including one on civilian infrastructure in the Zaporizhzhia region," the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a statement, as cited by the ukrinform.net website.
"Additionally, the enemy launched 26 air strikes and opened fire with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) 81 times, including on civil infrastructure in the Mykolaiv region’s Ochakiv," the statement said.
"Casualties among civilians were reported," it added.
Saturday is day 339 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, ukrinform.net