“Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas they have been preparing for a long time,” President Zelensky said in a video speech. “A significant portion of the entire Russian army is now focusing on this offensive invasion.” He added: “No matter how many Russian soldiers are deployed there, we will fight them. We will protect ourselves. We will do this every day, ”writes HVG following Sky News and CNN.
Russian forces have been redeploying and reinforcing troops for several weeks. The Kremlin says it “wants to liberate” the region and pro-Russian separatist fighters have been fighting in the area with the Ukrainian army for years.
The president’s announcement followed today’s statement by several high-ranking officials that a new phase of the war had begun. Chief of Staff Andrij Jermak wrote in the Telegram chat program that “the second phase of the war has begun” but urged people to stay determined. “Believe in our army, it’s very strong,” he wrote.
The secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Alexei Danilov, announced on Monday that the Russians had launched an attack on the entire front line in the Donbas and tried to break through the Ukrainian defense, but the troops persevered.