Kyiv, Apr 19 (EFE).- The Russian army is trying to establish total control over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east of the country, the Ukrainian army said on Tuesday.
“(The) Russian enemy is trying to continue offensive operations in the Eastern Operational Zone to establish full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, as well as to maintain a land corridor with the temporarily occupied Crimea,” the Ukrainian army high command said in its update on the 55th day of Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.
The report said that there were unceasing air and missile attacks on civilian targets throughout Ukraine, which intensified in the western regions on Monday.
The Ukrainian army high command added that Russia “continues to partially block the city of Kharkiv” in the direction of Slobozhansky and “is transferring additional anti-aircraft missile divisions of short-range surface-to-air missile system ‘Tor’” to the region, as well as S-400 and S-3-00 long range surface-to-air missile divisions in the Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine.
The Russians are also focused on “establishing full control” over Mariupol, the beleaguered port city on the Sea of Azov, according to the high command.
Russia seems determined to turn the Sea of Azov into an inland sea through its offensive to ensure the safety of the naval base in Sevastopol in the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Mariupol is crucial to building a land corridor between the peninsula and the self-proclaimed republics of Donestk and Luhansk. EFE