Russian forces intensify offensive efforts in Luhansk: Official

Kyiv: A top Ukrainian official said that Russian forces have intensified their offensive efforts in the eastern Luhansk region over the past week.

In a statement on Thursday, Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said that officials have witnessed a slight increase in Russian operations near the cities of Kupyansk and Lyman, CNN reported.

Russia is on the offensive in Luhansk, though without “much success” so far, the Governor added.

Haidai’s remarks came just two days after he had claimed that Russian troops were being sent to the war-torn nation’s eastern region as part of an offensive planned by Moscow on February 15.

On Tuesday. he had said that “we are seeing more and more reserves being deployed in our direction”, reports the BBC.

Almost a year into Moscow’s ongoing invasion, an estimated 300,000 Russian reserve troops have been recruited in recent months in an attempt to break through Ukraine’s front lines in the east.

Capturing the key city of Bakhmut could enable Russian forces to press on towards the bigger cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.

The Governor had further claimed that the Russians’ two-month training period was coming to an end and Moscow would need around 10 days to transfer them to the front for a new offensive.

He suggested that in Luhansk region they would target the three towns of Bilohorivka, Kreminna and Svatove, the BBC reported.

Since the past few months, Ukraine has been warning of an imminent Russian offensive that could begin on February 24, marking the first anniversary of Moscow’s invasion.

Thursday’s development came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy met European Union leaders in Brussels after his trips to London and Paris a day earlier, during which he asked for more fighter jets in an effort to boost Ukraine’s war capabilities amid the ongoing invasion.

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