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Russia invades Ukraine, battle for Donbas begins

Russia invades Ukraine, battle for Donbas begins

Having regrouped to launch an offensive in the east of Ukraine, Russian forces have started what one Ukrainian official described as the “second phase of the war” — the battle for Donbas.

Control of Kreminna, a town in the eastern Luhansk region, has already been “lost” during heavy fighting, a Ukrainian official said.

The developments come after Russia bombarded cities across Ukraine on Monday, with a least four missile strikes reported in the western city of Lviv and at least seven people killed.

Here are the latest developments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

The battle for Donbas: Russian forces have begun an assault on the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on Monday. He said Ukrainian forces would continue to fight, saying he is “thankful to all of our warriors, our soldiers, our heroic towns and towns in the region who are resisting and standing firm.”

Not a “single place” safe in Ukraine: Ihor Zhovka, chief diplomatic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “not a single place, a town, a city or a village” is now safe in Ukraine following Russian missile strikes in Lviv on Monday. The city was previously seen as a safe haven due to its proximity to Ukraine’s western border with Poland.

Women, children in besieged steel plant: Video appearing to show women and children sheltering in the basement of the Azovstal steel plant in the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol was posted on Telegram Monday evening by the Azov Battalion of Ukraine. The battalion’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Denys Prokopenko, also said Russian forces were firing “willingly” on the plant. The plant is one of the last areas under Ukrainian control in the city.

Moskva sinking latest: New images emerged early Monday on social media showing Russia’s guided-missile cruiser, the Moskva, badly damaged and on fire in the hours before the ship sank in the Black Sea on Thursday. The images show the Moskva listing to one side, with black holes from possible missile puncture marks, and a large plume of smoke billowing upwards.

No plans for Biden to visit Ukraine: White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Monday that there were no plans for US President Joe Biden to travel to Ukraine, following comments from Zelensky encouraging him to do so. The US President suggested last week he wanted to go, though he said US officials are still “in discussions” on whether a high-level US official will visit Ukraine.

US describes “campaign of terror”: State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Russia’s attacks in Ukraine in recent days further illustrate that the country is “undertaking a campaign of terror” against the people of Ukraine.

Ceasefire “not on the horizon”: A ceasefire in Ukraine is not on the horizon, but may be “in a couple of weeks” depending on how the war and ongoing negotiations continue, said Martin Griffiths, United Nations under secretary general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on Monday.

Darshan Shah
the authorDarshan Shah