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Russia delivers 'massive strikes' on Ukraine as Kiev pushes to retake all occupied territories

This photograph, taken on September 11, 2022, shows a cloud of smoke rising into the air from Izyum, Kharkiv Region, in eastern Ukraine. (By AFP)

Russia says its forces were carrying out "massive strikes" on Ukrainian armed forces from all operational directions across the Ukrainian front line, as Kiev said it was prepared to liberate all of its territory while calling on the West to speed up the deliveries of weapons systems to the county.

"Air, rocket and artillery forces are carrying out massive strikes on units of the Ukrainian armed forces in all operational directions," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

High-precision strikes were launched on Ukrainian positions around Sloviansk and Konstantinovka in the eastern Donetsk region, it added.

Moscow raised concerns about THE civilians who are trapped in territories recaptured by Keiv's army, and who according to Moscow are being abused by Ukrainian soldiers.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said that reports were emerging of "outrageous" treatment of civilians in the Kharkiv region.

"There are a lot of punitive measures... people are being tortured, people are being mistreated and so on," Peskov told journalists.

By Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his forces had retaken a total of 6,000 square kilometers from Russian control. In the northeast, dozens of areas, including the cities of Izyum, Kupiansk, and Balakliya, had been retaken, according to Kiev.

It also claimed significant gains in the southern Kherson region, where the Ukrainian army said it had recaptured 500 square kilometers.

But in the northeastern Kharkiv region, fighting was still raging, according to Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malya.

"The aim is to liberate the Kharkiv region and beyond, all the territories occupied by the Russian Federation," she said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, president Zelensky said in a video address that the West must speed up the deliveries of weapons systems.

Since the onset of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in late February, the United States and its European allies have sent numerous batches of advanced weapons to Ukraine.

Ukraine did not report any fresh advances on Tuesday, saying Russian forces were shelling parts of Kharkiv region retaken by Ukraine and attacking further south in Donetsk region.

Russia launched the military operations in Ukraine with a declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that the Ukrainians had made "significant progress" due to their resilience as well as US support. "It's too early to tell exactly where this is going. The Russians maintain very significant forces in Ukraine as well as equipment and arms and munitions," Blinken said.

He also accused Russia of using its weapons "indiscriminately against not just the Ukrainian armed forces but civilians and civilian infrastructure as we've seen."

Russia has repeatedly denied targeting civilians, with Peskov saying on Monday that the military operations "will continue until the objectives that were originally set are achieved."

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