Eastern Ukrainian town official says Russia is targeting civilian homes

Russia has captured dozens of small towns in its assault on the Donbass region, as Ukrainian officials describe continued heavy fighting in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russia had in recent weeks refocused its war efforts from the north and center to the east after failing to move closer to the capital, kyiv.

Friday, Russia revealed for the first time that his goal was to take “full control” of southern Ukraine as well as the eastern region of Donbass.

Maj. Gen. Rustam Minnekaev, acting commander of Russia’s Central Military District, said Russian forces were fighting to establish a land corridor through Ukrainian territory linking Russia with Crimea, the peninsula it annexed in 2014, according to TASS, a Russian state information. agency.

“Since the beginning of the second phase of the special operation, which began literally two days ago, one of the tasks of the Russian army has been to establish full control over Donbass and southern Ukraine. This will provide a land corridor to Crimea,” Minnekaev said. TASS said.

Olena Symonenko, adviser to the deputy head of the president’s office, said in televised remarks on Thursday evening that in the past 24 hours another 42 settlements had come under Russian control in the Donetsk region.

The British Ministry of Defense, however, said on Saturday that Russian forces had made no major gains in the past 24 hours in the face of Ukrainian counterattacks.

Ukraine’s air and sea defense was also able to stop the advance of Russian air and sea forces, the ministry added in a social media post.

South Ukraine: Russian forces currently have only partial control over southern Ukraine, with the Ukrainian government still controlling the key cities of Mykolaiv and Odessa and some Ukrainian forces holding out at a steel mill in the encircled port of Mariupol.

“Despite their declared conquest of Mariupol, heavy fighting continues to unfold, frustrating Russian attempts to capture the city, further slowing their desired advance into Donbass,” the British ministry said.

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