On the 86th day of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the fighting is still more intense in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, with "constant heavy fire", while the Kherson region could soon be transferred to the Russian flag in the coming days, assures the regional governor.
Donbass turned into 'hell' by Russians, says Zelensky
Russian forces are stepping up pressure in Donbass, eastern Ukraine, which they have turned into "hell", Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday. The latter also said that Russian troops had "completely destroyed" the area. "
"Heavy fighting" in Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts
On BFMTV, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Friday that "heavy fighting is taking place in the Lugansk and Donetsk oblasts, with heavy fire constantly near the line of contact. "After the defeat in kyiv, Putin changed his plan and decided to redraw the contours of Donbass, and wants to encircle our armies in these oblasts", she clarified, insisting that "people are all dying every day, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes".
Kherson soon under Russian rule?
Kherson Region Governor Volodymyr Saldo claimed that it will "soon be part" of the Russian Federation. "We see the Russian Federation as our own country," Saldo said, adding that the new budget for the Kherson region was approved in Russian rubles.
At the same time, a Ukrainian operational commander claims that Russian forces continue to bombard the region using Russian air defense systems to shoot down their own missiles, to create the impression that the Ukrainian armed forces are bombing civilians.
Azovstal: an "ongoing operation"?
In recent hours, Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of the Azov regiment, claimed in a video that he and the rest of the command were still in the Azovstal steelworks. He also claimed that an "operation" was underway, declining to give further details. This Friday on BFMTV, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maliar also indicated that "a rescue operation of our soldiers in Azovstal is underway".