Kyiv, Apr 18 (EFE).- A major offensive by Russia in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region has begun after several days of preparations and deployment of Russian troops in that part of the country, the regional authorities said Monday.
“The offensive has already begun,” the regional military administration said in a statement.
The administration said that fighting had broken out in the streets of the city of Kreminna in Luhansk.
Evacuation of civilians is “impossible,” it added in a message on Telegram, state-run news agency Ukrinform reported.
Overnight Russian missile attacks on the cities of Kramatorsk, Vugledar, Marinka and Gradiv in the Donetsk region were also reported.
Meanwhile, thousands of civilians hiding in a steel plant in the besieged Mariupol are braving continuous bombing without food, medicines, and water as Russian troops mounted pressure on Monday to capture the strategic port city in Ukraine’s industrial east.
The ultimatum issued by Moscow over the weekend to the city’s residents and fighters to surrender expired at noon on Sunday without the Ukrainian fighters laying down their arms.
Some 2,500 soldiers are also estimated to be entrenched in the steel plant, the last line of Ukrainian defense of the city.
Russian armed forces also renewed strikes on the Ukrainian city of Lviv, located near the border with Poland, the city’s mayor said Monday.
“Five aimed missile attacks on Lviv. Relevant emergency services have already left for the place (where they have fallen). We are finding out more information,” Andriy Sadovyi said on Telegram. EFE