Putin begins new offensive, says western sanctions have failed
Vladimir Putin, the Russian President has said that the sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine have failed.
Putin said on Monday that the West “expected to quickly upset the financial-economic situation, provoke panic in the markets, the collapse of the banking system and shortages in stores.” He added that “the strategy of the economic blitz has failed.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Monday that Russia’s anticipated new offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region had begun.
Russia has been trying to take control of the Donbas region. If this is successful, Moscow will be able to link Russian fighters in Luhansk and Donetsk. This would also allow them to create a land corridor to the annexed Crimean Peninsula.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of trying to”destroy” the entire eastern area of Donbas.
“We can now confirm that Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, which they have been preparing for a long time,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“This morning, along almost the entire front line of the (eastern) Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions, the occupiers attempted to break through our defences,” he said.
In his statement, Zelenskyy alleged that Russian troops were preparing for an offensive operation in the east and that they wanted to literally finish off and destroy the Donbas region.
Ahead of this anticipated attack, Ukrainian authorities had ordered people to escape from the area and head west.
The Prosecutor General’s Office in Ukraine has issued a statement which said that Russia’s war had resulted in the killing of over 205 children. They added that 367 other children had been wounded.
At least five Ukrainian children have been injured in the past 24 hours. The true figures are reported to be higher since they don’t include casualties in the areas where hostilities are ongoing.
Russian shelling in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region killed four people on Monday, regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko said on his Telegram channel.
Russia has intensified attacks on several Ukrainian cities, but says it is concentrating its efforts on securing full control over eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region, which is made up of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Ukraine said that Russia had started an anticipated new offensive in the east of the country on Monday, while a Russian missile attack killed seven people in Lviv, the first civilian victims in the western city about 60 km (40 miles) from Poland.
Officials said that another four people in the eastern Donetsk region were killed on Monday due to Russian shelling. A man and a woman were killed in Kharkiv, in the northeast, when shells hit a playground near a residential building.
The United States military expects to start training Ukrainians on using howitzer artillery in coming days, a senior US defense official said on Monday.
Last week, US President Joe Biden announced an additional $800 million in military assistance to Ukraine, expanding the aid to include heavy artillery ahead of a wider Russian assault expected in eastern Ukraine.
So far, four flights of weapons have been sent by the United States as part of the new package. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the howitzer training would take place outside Ukraine.