Ukraine has captured its first village in Luhansk as its counter-offensive presses further into Russia-occupied territory, refusing to slow after snatching back thousands of miles in east Ukraine from the Russian war machine.
The occupied country said its troops have marched farther east into territory recently abandoned by Russia after its six-month campaign, paving the way for a potential assault on Moscow’s occupation forces in the Donbas region as Kyiv seeks more Western arms.
The village lies only a dozen or so miles from the towns of Lysychansk and Severdonestsk, regions that took Russia five months to conquer — with the Ukrainian army stating its intent to take back all of Luhansk, much of which has been occupied since 2014.
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.
‘The occupiers are clearly in a panic,’ Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky 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,’ Zelensky said.
Further boosting the war effort, Liz Truss is set to tell the UN in New York she will spend billions more arming Ukrainians in 2023 during her first overseas trip as UK Prime Minister.
World leaders this week will hear from Truss that the UK intends to match or exceed the £2.3billion pound it committed to Ukraine’s war effort against Russia in 2022, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.