(Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered his forces to continue their offensive in eastern Ukraine, after occupying the entire Luhansk region.
Posted at 8:13 am
Mr Putin declared during an interview with his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, broadcast on television, that the Russian forces “must carry out their tasks in accordance with the plans that have already been approved”.
“I hope everything will happen in their sectors as it happened in Luhansk,” he added.
These statements come the day after the announcement of the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from the strategic city of Lysichansk, a takeover that completes the control of Russian forces and separatists over the Luhansk region.
The Luhansk region and the adjacent Donetsk region make up the Donbass Basin, a mine basin in eastern Ukraine that Moscow’s forces intend to fully conquer.
On Monday, Mr. Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister, said that Russian forces were working to “clear mines from the city of Lyschansk”.
Putin also noted that two of his generals, Alexander Labin and Isdola Abachev, would be “Russia’s heroes” for their role in the fighting in Ukraine, without further details.
Russia, which is extremely secretive about this type of information, recently revealed the names of two generals, Sergei Sorovikin and Alexander Labin, responsible for the attack on Lyschansk.
On Monday, Mr. Putin noted that these two men had “directly informed him (the two) of the path taken to carry out their tasks and proposals to continue offensive operations.”
The capture of Lyssytchansk, which formed a strategic lock with the twin city of Sievierodonetsk, allowed the Russian forces and the separatists to move more easily towards the west and the main cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the two largest cities of Donbass still under the control of the Kyiv army.
A senior separatist official, Vitaly Kiselev, said on Monday that troops from Moscow were now advancing from two directions towards Seversk locality, on their way to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.