The defense of the Ukrainian army of Donbass (east), the first target of Moscow, is considered “vital” to Kiev, since its result will “give an indication” of the continuation of the war with Russia, as estimated Tuesday evening Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
• Read also: direct | Day 111 of the war in Ukraine
• Read also: UN urges Russia not to adopt Ukrainian children
“It is necessary to stay in Donbass. (…) The defense of the region is necessary to give an indication of who will dominate (on the ground) in the coming weeks,” Zelensky said in his daily address to Ukrainians broadcast on Telegram.
“We must hold on,” he insisted, standing in front of the presidential administration building in Kyiv, while the Russians are gradually advancing from the Donbass to the point of practically complete control of the Lugansk region.
The fighting in Severodonetsk and Lesichansk, two towns with a population of about 100,000 people, has been raging for several days, and their capture by the Russian army from Moscow will allow them to target Slovensk, in the Donetsk region, about 70 km to the west. .
“The more losses the enemy incurs there, the less will be its strength to continue its aggression,” said Mr. Zelensky.
But the Ukrainian president indicated that his army “has suffered heavy losses in the Kharkiv region (east), where the Russian army is trying to consolidate its position,” he said.
Another area of intense fighting between Ukrainians and Russians: Kherson in the south. “We continue to put pressure on the occupiers” in this region, Volodymyr Zelensky said.
He promised that “the main goal is the liberation of Kherson”, the city occupied by the Russians since the beginning of the Russian invasion at the end of February, “and we will advance step by step to achieve this.”