Russian forces launched dozens of airstrikes in the eastern Ukraine region of Donbas after Volodymyr Zelensky said Moscow launched a major offensive. The fresh offensive was denounced by Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, calling for a 4-day respite to mark the Orthodox Holy Week
Guterres told reporters that instead of being a festival of life, Easter this year marked a fresh Russian offensive on Ukraine. He said that the battle would inevitably turn more violent and destructive due to the heavy concentration of arms and troops. He appealed for a humanitarian lull till Easter Sunday on the 24th and starting on Orthodox Holy Thursday.
Volodymyr Zelensky said that the Russians had started the battle for the Donbas. He noted that a significant part of the entire Russian army was concentrating on this offensive. Russia had set its eyes on the Donbas for 8 years and had stated that taking the area was its primary aim in the battle.
Volodymyr Zelensky Says Russian Attack Along Multiple Fronts
The Russian forces attacked along the whole front line in the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, and Kharkiv and tried to breach the Ukrainian defense. The defenders were in control till the news last came in.
The pro-Russian separatists have been in partial control of the region since 2014. Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine would continue fighting despite the overwhelming numerical superiority of the Russians and defend themselves.
Ukraine has been urging citizens to flee west before a full-scale assault by the Russians.
Shortly before the address by Volodymyr Zelensky, Sergiy Gaiday, the Lugansk region governor also announced the start of the Russian eastern offensive. He said that a full-scale offensive had begun, something that they had been dreading for weeks.
Russian President Putin has said that he was forced to launch the military offensive to save the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine from the genocide carried out by the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. He recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions just before the Russian offensive began.