Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claims that the offensive of Russian forces in the east has begun, AFP writes.
– We now confirm that the Russian forces have begun the battle of Donbass, which they have been preparing for a long time. A significant part of the Russian army is now deployed to this attack, Volodymyr Zelensky says in the Telegram messaging service.
Ukrainian Presidential Chief of Staff Andrei Yermak claimed on Monday that the second phase of the war had begun, citing new attacks by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
– Believe our army, it is very strong, writes the Chief of Staff in Telegram.
He assures the Ukrainians that the Ukrainian forces can withstand the new offensive.
Yermak and Zelensky’s allegations have not been confirmed by Russia or other independent sources.
Ukraine has long been preparing for an attack in the east. He’s been waiting for several weeks. near the end of March Russian forces withdrew from the vicinity of the capital, Kyiv.
At the same time, the Donbass region in the east of the country became the new target of the Russian ground forces.
Satellite images from early April Shows Russian columns moving east of Kharkiv, towards Donetsk and Luhansk, located in the Donbass.
Local authorities in the Donbass region claim that a Russian attack has begun in the region, according to AFP.
Earlier today, the military in Ukraine said it may look as if a Russian offensive in the east is underway, according to both Reuters and AP reports.
Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported that Luhansk residents were asked to leave the area immediately.
Luhansk and Donetsk are part of the Donbass region, the two regions that were recognized by Russian President Vladimir Putin as independent from Ukraine shortly before the invasion of Ukraine.
Since 2014, Ukraine has been at war with pro-Russian separatists in the regions.
The governor of Luhansk says there is ongoing fighting in the cities of Robyzhny and Popasna.
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18 killed in Kharkiv
In Donetsk, four people have now died in a Russian attack, according to Sky News.
In recent days, the bombing of the city of Kharkiv has escalated, according to several media outlets. According to the president, 18 were killed and more than 100 were injured in attacks on Kharkiv in recent days.
The region’s governor, Oleh Senegubov, says that Ukrainian forces carried out successful counterattacks in Kharkiv and fully or partially regained control in two villages.
Also in the city of Mykolaiv, several attacks took place last night, which hit critical infrastructure. It’s reports BBC.
“It’s starting to get really bad,” Officer Daniel Salem told the announcer about the situation in Mykolaiv and Kherson.
Russia on Sunday ordered Ukrainian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol to surrender. they did not.
according to The New York Times 2,000 civilians are hiding in a steel mill in the city, along with the rest of the Ukrainian ground forces there. The Kyiv Independent writes that
The newspaper quoted Pyotr Andryushenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, who does not want to limit the number of soldiers at the steel plants.
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