KYIV: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky has stated that Russia has initiated an offensive to conquer the eastern Donbas region, BBC reported.
On Monday, Moscow launched rocket and artillery attacks on cities, and Zelensky declared in a video address that the "war for the Donbas has begun." Russia attempted to break through Ukrainian front lines in the region, said an Ukraine's top security official, Oleksiy Danilov.
After Russia's failure to conquer Kyiv, the offensive had been expected for a long time. Russia looked to want to take over key Ukrainian cities and overthrow the government at first.
However, after encountering fierce resistance, Russian defence authorities announced that the "first stage of the operation's" principal objectives had been "largely accomplished" and that Russian forces had been moved from areas around the city, the report read.
They claimed that the invasion would be redirected to the "liberation" of the Russian-speaking Donbas region. The invasion has been characterised by Russian President Vladimir Putin as an attempt to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine, which Ukraine and its allies dismiss as a cover for an unprovoked war.
Russia launched a barrage of rocket and artillery fire on a variety of eastern districts on Monday, killing eight civilians in the Luhansk city of Kreminna and the Donetsk region. Four Russian strikes killed seven people and injured eleven more in western Lviv, a city that has been mostly spared the violence seen elsewhere in Ukraine.