Russian forces are poised to advance deep into Ukraine if they manage to capture the frontline town of Chasiv Yar and the wider Donbas region, Vadym Filashkin, Governor of the Donetsk region, said in an interview with Sky News.

Russia has redoubled its offensive in Donbas over the past month. Since the fall of Avdiivka, Russian forces have been steadily advancing westwards, and the advance accelerated in mid-April.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry said on May 5 that it had registered a total of 125 Russian attacks along the 700-kilometer (435-mile) front line over 24 hours.

More than half of those attacks were in the area around Ocheretyne and the Ukrainian-held city of Chasiv Yar, which is under intensifying attacks.

Fishkin said that Ukrainian soldiers would do everything in their power to push back the Russian troops.

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However, he expressed concerns about Russian forces attempting to breach eastern Ukraine's defensive lines, with an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 artillery rounds and airstrikes hitting the region daily.

Should the entirety of Donbas fall under Russian control, Filashkin warned of the peril not only for Ukraine but for the wider world.

"The enemy will move onwards. If, God forbid, this happens, the enemy will advance farther into the central territory of our country," he said.

"We will not allow this and we will do everything possible  – and impossible – to hold the enemy here in the Donetsk region and restore the borders to those of 1991," he added.

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The overnight aerial attack came shortly after Russian troops bombed a busy shopping centre in Kharkiv on May 25, which killed at least 12 people and injured 43.

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, the Governor reported that approximately 2,500 civilians in his region alone had been killed, with almost 5,000 injured.

"Words to describe all the anger that we feel have probably not been invented yet," he said.

The strategic importance of Chasiv Yar lies in its vantage point atop a hill, which puts a larger area at risk of Russian artillery bombardment, including cities like Kramatorsk, Konstantinivka, and Slovyansk.

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