Ukrainian army steps up pressure in Donbass

IZIOUM, Ukraine (Reuters) – The Ukrainian army continued on Monday to consolidate its positions in the country’s recently reconquered northeastern territories and resumed its advance east of the Oskil River, from where it could launch a new offensive towards the part of Donbass under Russian control.

Sign of growing nervousness, the pro-Russian leaders of the separatist regions of Donestk and Luhansk called on Monday for the rapid holding of referendums on the attachment of their self-proclaimed republics to Russia.

“The occupiers are very clearly panicking,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky commented in his daily televised address.

Serhiy Gaïdaï, the Ukrainian governor of the region of Luhansk, completely controlled by the Russian army at present, indicated for his part that the Ukrainian army had taken over the town of Kreminna and the village of Bilohorivka, close to the strategic city of Lysytchansk, conquered in July by Russian forces after heavy fighting.

“The Luhansk region is on the other side,” he said on Telegram, referring to the city of Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk’s twin, on the other side of the Donets River. “De-occupation is not far away.”

(Reuters offices, French version Tangi Salaün)


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