, 2022-09-19 23:59:00,
- Ukraine says its forces capture village near Lysychansk
- Separatist leader calls for referendum to join Russia
- “Occupiers are clearly in a panic,” Zelenskiy
IZIUM, Ukraine, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Ukraine said its troops have marched farther east into territory recently abandoned by Russia, paving the way for a potential assault on Moscow’s occupation forces in the Donbas region as Kyiv seeks more Western arms.
“The occupiers are clearly in a panic,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a televised address late on Monday, adding that he was now focused on “speed” in liberated areas.
“The speed at which our troops are moving. The speed in restoring normal life,” Zelenskiy said.
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The Ukrainian leader also hinted he would use a video address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday to call on countries to accelerate weapons and aid deliveries.
“We are doing everything to ensure Ukraine’s needs are met at all levels – defence, financial, economic, diplomatic,” Zelenskiy said.
Ukraine’s armed forces had regained complete control of the village of Bilohorivka, and were preparing to retake all of Luhansk province from Russian occupiers, provincial Governor Serhiy Gaidai said. The village is only 10 km (6 miles) west of Lysychansk city, which fell to the Russians after weeks of grinding battles in July.
“There will be fighting for every centimeter,” Gaidai wrote on Telegram. “The enemy is preparing their defence. So we will not simply march in.”
Luhansk and the neighbouring province of Donetsk comprise the industrialised eastern region of Donbas, which Moscow says it intends to seize as a primary aim of what it calls the “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops have begun to push into Luhansk since driving Russian forces out of northeastern Kharkiv province in a lightning counter-offensive this month.
In a sign of nervousness from a Moscow-backed administration in Donbas about the success of Ukraine’s recent offensive, its leader called for urgent referendums on the region becoming part of Russia.
Denis Pushilin, head of the Moscow-based separatist administration in Donetsk, called on his fellow separatist leader in Luhansk to combine efforts toward preparing a referendum on joining Russia. read more
The Ukraine general staff said on Monday that fighting had been limited to the Donetsk region.
“During the past 24 hours, units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine repelled enemy attacks…
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