Russia claims advances in Ukraine amid fierce fighting
Russia on Tuesday claimed control of 97% of one of the two provinces of Ukraine’s Donbass, bringing the Kremlin closer to its goal of fully conquering the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow’s forces had occupied almost the entire Luhansk province. And it appears Russia now occupies about half of Donetsk province, according to Ukrainian officials and military analysts.
After giving up its failed attempt to storm Kyiv two months ago, Russia declared that capturing the entire Donbass was its main objective. Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government forces in Donbass since 2014, and the region has borne the brunt of the Russian onslaught in recent weeks.
Early in the war, Russian troops also took control of the entire Kherson region and much of the Zaporizhia region, both in the south. Russian officials and their local appointees have discussed plans for these regions to either declare independence or be incorporated into Russia.
But in what may be the latest case of anti-Russian sabotage in Ukraine, Russian state media said on Tuesday that an explosion at a cafe in the city of Kherson injured four people. Tass called the apparent bomb attack in the Russian-held city an act of terrorism.
Before the February 24 invasion, Ukrainian officials said Russia controlled about 7% of the country, including the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, and separatist-held areas in Donetsk and Luhansk. Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops held 20% of the country.
While Russia has superior firepower, the Ukrainian defenders are entrenched and have demonstrated the ability to counterattack.
Zelenskyi said Russian forces made no significant advances in the eastern Donbass region over the past day.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5505622/russia-ukraine-war-latest-news/ War between Ukraine and Russia UPDATE: Vladimir Putin is branded “cold, cruel and black evil” by former Ukrainian Prime Minister in a rage