‘It Is Hell There’: Ukraine’s Zelensky Says Russia Has Completely Destroyed Donbas Region

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Russian forces have bombarded areas of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas from land and air, killing at least 13 civilians.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the assaults had turned the region into “hell”.

According to the Ukrainian general staff, the Russians were intensifying their efforts to subdue the Donbas region, as the war neared the three-month mark.

Russia’s focus on Donbas follows its failure to capture the capital Kyiv in the early stages of the invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Feb. 24.

Thousands of people – many of them civilians – have been killed and whole towns and cities razed in the gravest crisis in Europe in decades.

Almost a third of the Ukraine’s people have fled their homes, including more than 6 million who have left the country in a refugee exodus, while others remain trapped in cities pulverised by Russian bombardments.

British military intelligence said on Friday that Russia is likely to further reinforce its operations in Donbas once it finally secures the southern port city of Mariupol – scene of a weeks-long siege and Russia’s most significant success in an otherwise faltering campaign.

The region, an industrial powerhouse, compromises the Donetsk and Luhansk areas, which Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.

Putin calls the invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to rid the country of fascists – an assertion Kyiv and its Western allies say is a baseless pretext for an unprovoked war.

The Kremlin leader was due to hold a security council meeting later on Friday.




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