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Lavrov Announces New Stage of Russia’s Operation in Ukraine
By Staff, Agencies
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that his country’s military operation in Ukraine is entering a new phase.
The top Russian diplomat made the announcement in an interview with Indian media that was aired on Tuesday.
“The goals of the military action in Ukraine had been declared by Moscow from the start, and one of those goals was the capture of the entire territory claimed by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics as their sovereign territory,” Lavrov said.
“This operation will continue. Another stage of this operation is beginning,” he revealed, adding that he believed that the phase was crucial for the entire Russian operation.
There were reports of intensified hostilities in eastern Ukraine late on Monday. The Russian defense ministry reported on Tuesday morning that its troops had delivered strikes at 1,260 Ukrainian military targets overnight, including 1,214 locations where Ukrainian troops amassed their forces.
On the other side, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced on Monday that the nature of hostilities in his country had radically shifted.
“We can now confirm that Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbass, which they have been preparing for a long time,” Zelensky said in a video posted on Telegram on Monday evening.
Russia started a special military operation in the neighboring country in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.
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