Russian forces have since Monday launched a new offensive on most of Ukraine’s eastern flank. The “battle of Donbass” has now begun, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky and senior officials in the country have said. Several towns came under Russian control.
The Ukrainian army now faces a new Russian assault on its flank Oriental since Moscow withdrew its forces from around Kiev and northern Ukraine late last month to focus on an assault toward Ukraine’s Donbass region. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said yesterday that the “battle of Donbass” had begun, with the launch of a new offensive by Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
“A new stage” announces Russia
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that Russia had started a new stage in what she still describes as a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
“A new stage of this operation is beginning (in eastern Ukraine) and I am sure it will be a very important moment of this special operation“, said Sergei Lavrov in an interview with the Indian television channel India Today.
Westerners make the war “last”
The latter also said that the United States and its Western allies were doing everything to prolong the Russian military operation in Ukraine, according to comments reported by the Russian news agency TASS.
“The increase in the volumes of foreign arms deliveries clearly demonstrates their intention to encourage the kyiv regime to fight to the end,” he said.
The occupied city of Kreminna
The Russian army already completely controls the small town of Kreminna, in the Donbass. The Ukrainian forces defending it having withdrawn to new positions, the governor of the Luhansk region said on Tuesday, April 19.
Kreminna, which had 18,000 inhabitants before the war, is located on the main road used by the Russian troops heading towards Sievierodonestk, a little further south. “Kreminna has come under the control of the ‘Killer whales‘ (Russian soldiers). They entered the city,” said Governor Serhi Gaïdaï, during a press briefing.
According to the governor, the Russian army has launched an attack “on all fronts” to conquer the part of Donbass which still eludes it, taking trap the civilians who did not flee before the start of the offensive.
At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a new ultimatum to Ukrainian fighters entrenched in the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol, the last bastion to resist the offensive of the Russian army and its allies in the port city.
Assault on the Azovstal factory in Mariupol
Pro-Russian forces intend to “liberate” the plant as soon as possible, the president of the self-proclaimed Donetsk republic said. Denis Pushilin.
“All those who lay down their arms are guaranteed to stay alive,” he said, calling on “Ukrainian and foreign” fighters to surrender leaving the factory without arms and ammunition on Tuesday between 2 p.m. 4:00 p.m. (11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. GMT). The ministry also indicated that Russian artillery and missiles had hit 1,260 targets in Ukraine since Monday, a date which, according to Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, marked the start of the “battle of Donbass”.
This Russian offensive “will fail” because Moscow does not have sufficient military resources to carry it out, Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, said on Tuesday.
Macron to meet with Biden and NATO allies at midday
French President Emmanuel Macron will exchange at midday this Tuesday with his American counterpart Joe Bidenthe President of the European Commission, Ursula von der LeyenNATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenbergand the leaders of several allied countries about the war in Ukraine, announced on Tuesday the spokesman of the government, Gabriel Attal.
“At midday today there will be an exchange between President Macron and the Heads of State and Government of several countries, in particular the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of NATO”, about the war in Ukraine, said Gabriel Attal on CNEWS.
The White House said in a statement: “The President (Joe Biden) will host a secure video chat with his allies and partners to discuss our continued support for Ukraine and our efforts to hold Russia accountable. (of the conflict) within the framework of our close coordination.”