Kyiv, Apr 25 (EFE).- The Russian army is carrying out offensives in the cities of the pro-Russian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army said on Monday.
The Russian military “is conducting offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone to defeat the Joint Forces, establish full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and secure a land route between these territories and the occupied Crimea,” the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on its Facebook page.
Monday marked the 61st day of Russia’s Feb.24 invasion against Ukraine.
The Crimean peninsula, located in the south of the country, has been under the Russian control since 2014.
According to the Ukrainian military, the Russians launched missile and bomb strikes against the Azovstal steel plant in the beleaguered coastal city of Mariupol in Donetsk, and assault operations against Popasna city in the Luhansk region.
The steel mill is the last Ukrainian stronghold in the city and hundreds of city residents have also taken refuge in it.
Despite the offensive, “no significant changes in the position and activities of enemy units that protect the Ukrainian-Belarusian and Ukrainian-Russian sections of the state border of Ukraine were detected,” the Ukrainian armed forces said.
In the direction of Slobozhansky, the Russian “continue shelling with artillery and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in the settlements of Kharkiv, Karasivka, Prudyanka, and Kororbochkino,” it added.
Meanwhile, in its latest intelligence report on Monday, the British defense ministry said that “Russia has made minor advances in some areas since shifting its focus to fully occupying the Donbas.”
However, it has “yet to achieve a significant breakthrough,” it added.
“Russia’s decision to besiege rather than attack Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant means many Russian units remain fixed in the city and cannot be redeployed. Ukraine’s defense of Mariupol has also exhausted many Russian units and reduced their combat effectiveness,’ the British ministry said. EFE