Russia’s military leadership is completing “the identification of advantageous areas of where to conduct main strikes” in its new offensive in Ukraine’s east, Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk said on Telegram.

Earlier this week, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the “Battle for the Donbas” had started as Russia concentrates most of its invading forces in the south and southeast.

U.S. military intelligence says that Russia has massed up to 90 battalion tactical groups in the easternmost regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, as well as in the southern part of the country.

Motuzianyk pointed to Russia’s “methods of fire damage, its form of building military orders, the separation of enemy troops and its continuous offensive operations” as signs of probing for the weaknesses and strengths of Ukraine’s defense.


He said the greatest activity of invading forces has been observed in Izyum on the southeastern edge of Kharkiv region, the railway hub of Popasna and Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region, the Donetsk regional city of Mariupol and the highway connecting Zaporizhya and Donetsk.

Kremlin despot Vladimir Putin ordered a renewed invasion of the country on Feb. 24 as part of a war he has waged against Ukraine since 2014 when the Crimean Peninsula was forcibly seized and parts of the Donbas were occupied.

The war is the biggest on the European continent since World War II.

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