President Volodymyr Zelensky states that now we can say that the Russian Army has started the Donbas War. They were preparing for it for a long time. The Ukrainian Army had forecast a major Russian attack in the Donbas several weeks ago. Officials in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, have said that Russia has launched a major attack in Eastern Ukraine. This marked the beginning of a new phase of Russia’s attack after failing to capture the capital Kyiv. In the coming weeks, Russia’s military operations will again focus on the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, partly controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram on Monday night that “now we can say with certainty that the Russian army has started the Battle of Donbas. They have been preparing for it for a long time.”He further added, “It doesn’t matter how many Russian soldiers have been brought here, we will fight. We will defend ourselves.”The Ukrainian authorities had asked the Donbas to flee to the west before the major expected attack. Kyiv’s Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak said, “The war of the second round has begun.”
Control over the Donbas would give Russia a southern corridor to annex Crimea. In the south, Russia is pushing hard to capture the Mariupol port, where it has decided to fight a decisive battle with the remaining Ukrainian forces. But despite Mariupol’s deteriorating condition, a senior US defense official said the battle over Mariupol was still going on. Russia has added its 11 battalion tactical groups to this battle in eastern Ukraine, which also includes weapons, helicopters, and logistical support. Now 76 Russian battalions are fighting the war in Ukraine. On Monday, the first ship of new US military aid arrived on the Ukrainian border, which was given to Ukraine against Russian aggression.
On April 13, the US announced the delivery of $800-million military equipment to Ukraine, including helicopters, howitzers, missiles, and armored vehicles. While strengthening his ties with the European Union and moving forward with the process of joining the EU, a grouping of 27 countries, Zelensky said Ukraine is expected to be recognized as an EU member state in the next few weeks.