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Phase 2 of the campaign, Russia announced that it would ‘liberate the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk’

In the second phase of the campaign, Russia announced that it would liberate the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk - Photo 1.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu – Photo: russian defense ministry

“The plan to liberate the countries of Donetsk and Lugansk is being systematically implemented, and other measures are being taken to restore normal life,” Shoigu stressed during a meeting with military commanders. Russian team on April 19.

The statement was made not long after the Kiev authorities confirmed that Russia had begun a new major offensive in the east Ukraine. According to Russia’s Tass news agency, this will be the second phase of a “special military operation” in Ukraine.

During a meeting on April 19, Minister Shoigu accused the West of adding fuel to the fire and did not want the war to end soon by continuously pumping weapons to Ukraine. Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, 54 days as of April 19.

“The US and Western countries under their control are doing everything to prolong military operations as long as possible,” Shoigu said, accusing the West of trying to provoke Kiev to fight Russia. to the last Ukrainian”.

In an interview with the newspaper India Today On the same day, April 19, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also confirmed that the second phase of the military operation in Ukraine had begun.

“I am sure that this will be the most important moment of this whole operation,” Lavrov said. The senior Russian diplomat also affirmed that Moscow’s current goal is not regime change in Kiev.

Russia ended the first phase of the campaign at the end of March when it withdrew from much of northern Ukraine and moved to the Donbass region. This area includes the two self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugasnk countries, which are currently only recognized by Russia.

It remains unclear how large the area Russia wants to “liberate” in eastern Ukraine will be, whether it will stop at the border declared by the leaders of Donetsk and Lugasnk or will include other important cities besides Donbass.

Lugansk officials appointed by Kiev earlier confirmed that the city of Kreminna of 20,000 people was captured by Russia on April 19, after three days of fighting with the Ukrainian army. This appears to be the first Ukrainian city to fall to the new Russian offensive.

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