UKRAINE’S President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the “battle for the Donbas” is now underway.
Explosions were heard along the entire frontier of the eastern region as Vladimir Putin launched his latest attack in the invasion of Ukraine.
Zelensky’s comments follow warnings from other senior officials that Russia has begun its assault on the eastern region on Monday.
他说: “We can now confirm that Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, which they have been preparing for a long time.
“A large part of the Russian army is now dedicated to this offensive.”
The brave Ukrainian leader refused to be cowed by the latest Russian attack, 说: “No matter how many Russian soldiers are brought here, we will fight. We will defend ourselves.”
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Zelensky’s chief of staff said the assault on the Donbas marked the start of the “second phase” of the war.
It comes after fighting has stepped up in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions which make up the Donbas.
According the head of the Luhansk region, at least four people were killed as the city of Kreminna fell into enemy hands overnight.
Earlier today four people were killed by Russian shelling in the Donetsk area according to the region’s governor.
Sergei Gaidai, the governor of the Luhansk region said on Facebook: “It’s hell. The offensive has begun, the one we’ve been talking about for weeks.
He said fighting was “constant” in the cities of Rubizhne and Popasna.
The attacks follow the continued brutal shelling of Lviv where casualties have risen.
After the humiliating sinking of the flagship of Russias Black Sea Fleet last week in what the Ukrainians boasted was a missile attack, the Kremlin had vowed to step up airstrikes.