Russian forces are pushing towards two towns in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region following an intensified fighting, state media say.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-backed official in the region, told Ria Novosti on Sunday offensive actions were concentrated around the two towns of Orikhiv, 50 kilometers south of the regional capital Zaporizhzhia, and Hulyaipole, further east. "The front is mobile, especially in two directions: Orikhiv and Hulyaipole,"he said. "The initiative is in our hands."
The Russian army later said it had taken "more advantageous lines and positions" after "offensive operations" in Zaporizhzhia. It claimed to have hit Ukrainian positions in the village of Lezhyno, outside the regional capital.
Russia's Defense Ministry said a recent offensive had put its army's units in more advantageous positions along the Zaporizhzhia front line.
While Moscow controls large swathes of the southern part of the region, its main city Zaporizhzhia and northern part did not fall to Russian forces. Russia has vowed to push Ukrainian forces out of the regions.
Regional officials said on Saturday Russia ramped up shelling of Ukraine's eastern regions outside the main front line in the Donbas industrial area.
Since late August 2022, fighting has been concentrated in Donbas, which includes most of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that are partly controlled by Russia and which Moscow have annexed.
Meanwhile, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin has said deliveries of offensive weapons to Kiev that threaten Russia’s territories will lead to a global catastrophe. Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the Duma – Russia’s lower house of parliament – warned the United States and NATO’s support of Ukraine is leading the world to a “terrible war.”
Russia started what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine with the declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the country on February 24, 2022. Since then, the United States and Europe have imposed unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow while giving Ukraine tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weaponry, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles and communications systems. The Kremlin has time and again warned the Western military assistance to Kiev will only prolong the war.