War between Russia and Ukraine

President Zelensky speaks during a video address

President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that a large part of Russia’s army is now focused on the Donbas offensive

Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, has stated that Russia launched an attack to seize eastern Donbas.

Moscow attacked cities with rocket- and artillery fire Monday, and Mr Zelensky stated in a video address that the battle for the Donbass had begun.

Oleksiy Danilov (Ukraine’s top security officer) stated that Russia attempted to penetrate the Ukrainian front lines.

After Russia’s failure to seize Kyiv, the offensive was long anticipated.

Russia appeared initially to be seeking to seize major cities in Ukraine and overthrow the government.

Despite stiff resistance, Russian defense officials claimed that the main objectives of the operation’s “first stage” were “generally achieved” and that the forces had been moved from the capital.

They stated plans to shift the emphasis of the invasion to the “liberation of the Russian-speaking Donbas region.”

Russia’s President Vladmir Putin described the invasion as an attempt at demilitarizing and “denazifying” Ukraine. This is something Ukraine and its allies dismissed as a ruse to launch an unprovoked assault.

Russia launched a barrage artillery and rocket fire against eastern areas Monday. Eight civilians were killed in Kreminna, Luhansk, and the Donetsk region.

In four Russian strikes on Lviv, seven people were killed and eleven more were injured, the attack was carried out by Russians. Lviv is a western city that was mostly spared from other attacks in Ukraine.

Map of east Ukraine

According to the governor of Luhansk, the situation is “hell” with constant fighting reported in some cities.

The regional governor of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv stated that evacuations of civilians were being carried out in areas where there are likely to be intense clashes.

Russian defense officials claimed that their forces hit hundreds of targets in Ukraine Sunday night. These included 16 military facilities in Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia as well as one port in Mykolayiv, in the south and west of Ukraine.

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In a video message, Mr Zelensky stated that he and his troops “will defend ourselves” on Monday night and promised “not to give up any Ukrainian material”.

He said, “A large part of Russia’s army is now concentrated on this offensive”, but added that Ukraine’s forces would fight no matter how many Russian troops were driven there.

Moscow claimed last month it had 93% control over Luhansk, and 54% over Donetsk. Its forces are expected try to encircle remaining Ukrainian troops.

They will have to fight with some of the most battle-hardened soldiers in Kyiv. According to some estimates, Ukraine has between 40 and 50,000 soldiers in Donbas. Many of these soldiers have been fighting for years against Russian-backed separatists forces.