Pro-Russian separatists from the Ukrainian Donbass said on Thursday that they had taken control of the Lugansk region and more than half of Donetsk in Moscow, and that occupying these territories in eastern Ukraine had become their priority.
These claims are not independently verified.
“By the morning of March 31, 2022, more than 90% of the territory of the People’s Republic of Lugansk was liberated,” the diplomacy of this territory, whose independence was recognized only by Russia, stated in its Telegram on Thursday. Channel. Before the invasion of Ukraine.
Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin on Wednesday promised that Russia would control the territory of the so-called “about 55 to 60%” territory of Ukraine.
Prior to the Russian invasion on February 24, the separatists had been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014, controlling one-third of these areas, 8,900 km2 in Donetsk for 26,500 km and 8,400 km2 for 26,700 km2. Of Lugansk.
In the Donetsk region, the main town of escape from Russian and pro-Russian forces is Mariupol, which has been under brutal siege for weeks.
The leader of the Russian Caucasian Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has been assured that tens of thousands of men are fighting in Mariupol, where 90 to 95% of the strategic port city is now under Russian control.
According to him, the last Ukrainian defenders settled at the Azovstal metallurgical plant east of Mariupol.
A ceasefire in the city on the Russian side will take effect from Thursday to allow the evacuation of tens of thousands of people still living in catastrophic humanitarian conditions.
Russia has said Ukraine is focusing its military efforts on the Donbass, saying that after the Russia-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul this week, the rest of the country had achieved their goals and provided a symbol of good faith. Direction of Kyiv and Chernivtsi.
These assurances have so far kept Ukraine and the West skeptical, and they believe Moscow has had to revise its targets in the wake of the Ukrainian resistance.