On Monday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said “The occupiers are clearly in a panic,” in a televised update on the Russian invasion as Ukraine continues to advance into more occupied land. The Ukraine leader has also said he is now focused on “speed” in newly liberated areas.
President Zelensky said: “The speed at which our troops are moving. The speed in restoring normal life.”
The Ukrainian President also hinted that he will ask for more weapons and aid deliveries in his video address to the United Nations General Assembly, which takes place this Wednesday.
“We are doing everything to ensure Ukraine’s needs are met at all levels – defence, financial, economic, diplomatic,” President Zelensky said.
Ukraine is currently preparing to retake the whole of Luhansk, a providence in Donbas, which is a region in Ukraine currently occupied by Russia.
“There will be fighting for every centimetre,” the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Gaidai wrote on Telegram.
“The enemy is preparing their defence. So we will not simply march in.”
Governor Gaidai has also said Ukraine forces had regained control of the Luhansk village Bilohorivka as Ukraine forces continue to liberate more land in the region.
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This weekend, the Ukrainian army crossed the Oskil River, which is an important advancement as it threatens the Russian occupation of Donbas.
The river flows to the Siversky Donets River, which goes through the Luhansk region in Donbas.
Donbas is the main focus of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the area is largely Russian-speaking and in the past, Russian President Putin has falsely accused Ukraine of committing genocide in the area.
In 2014 after Russia captured Crimea, Russian proxy forces captured more than a third of eastern Ukraine.
Luhansk, which has been used as a base for Russia’s separatist proxies, is now fully under Russian control as of July this year.
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The Russian administrator for Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, has called on the Russian leader of Luhansk, Leonid Pasechnik, to prepare for a referendum to officially join Russia.
In a video posted to social media, Mr Pushilin said that both leader’s actions “should be synchronised”.
This comes at a time Russia is continuing to shell large regions of Ukraine, and Russian forces have been accused of shelling a nuclear power plant.
A blast occurred near the reactors of the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power in Mykolaiv according to Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear power operator and the organisation has released photos of a crater caused by the shelling.
In a social media post, President Zelensky wrote: “Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it’s too late.”