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The Lowdown Hub

Russia has begun renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine- Zelensky

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia had begun a long-awaited major new offensive in the country’s eastern Donbas border region after its forces intensified attacks along the frontline.

Zelensky said in a late-night TV address on Monday that Russia had concentrated a “significant part” of its forces in the region and vowed that Ukraine would defend itself “however many troops they send there”. “We will fight. We won’t give up anything Ukrainian,” he added.

Russia withdrew from several regions in central Ukraine in late March after failing to take Kyiv and said it would refocus its efforts on the Donbas, where it claims it is protecting Russian speakers in an eight-year separatist conflict.

Ukraine’s armed forces said on Tuesday morning that Moscow was continuing offensive operations in the east in order to establish full control over the territory of the Donbas’s two administrative regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, which Russia partially occupied in 2014, and to build a land corridor with Crimea.

“The main efforts of the enemy are focused on breaking through the defence of Ukrainian troops in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, as well as establishing full control over the city of Mariupol,” the military’s general staff said in a regular morning update on the war.

It said that Russia was continuing to transfer troops, support units, weapons and military equipment into Ukraine from its central and eastern regions.

Ukrainian and foreign