In a video address published on Telegram, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Puschilin, described the situation in the north as “extremely difficult”.
“There are alarming signs, the enemy has concentrated quite serious forces, and it is possible that in the near future they will try to go on the counteroffensive,” Puschilin said. He assured everyone that the DPR and the Russian armed forces “will do everything possible” and that developments on the front lines are being closely monitored.
On Thursday morning, Donetsk authorities reported that artillery attacks by Ukrainian forces on the city killed six people and wounded seven. Two teenagers are among the dead.
Ukrainian forces have recently advanced to the Donetsk border, captured the towns of Balakleya and Izyum and are threatening Krasny Liman. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that his general staff had decided to move Russian forces out of the Kharkov region in order to increase the effectiveness of Russian forces in Donbass.
Shoigu also said that all attempts by the Ukrainian military to advance on the Kherson front between Nikolayev and Krivoy Rog were associated with “significant losses for the Ukrainian side”. According to Shoigu, Kyiv launched its operations solely to create the illusion among Western supporters that the Ukrainian military was capable of launching an offensive.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government and its supporters have already declared the latest incursion into land a “tipping point” in the conflict with Russia. President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed to “liberate” all of Donbass and parts of the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions currently controlled by Russian and allied forces — as well as Crimea, whose people voted to reunify with Russia in 2014.
Referendums on joining the Russian Federation began today in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and are expected to be completed by September 27. Already in February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states. As expected, the western states of NATO have already let it be known that these “sham referendums” will not be recognized. Chancellor Olaf Scholz also emphasized this in his speech at the UN General Assembly.
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