‘They want to destroy everything’ Zelensky issues warning as battle for Donbas rages on

Zelensky's wife Olena says 'no one will take my husband away'

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According to The Kyiv Independent, the Ukrainian President said that “extraordinary strength” was needed in the battle. Mr Zelensky also admitted that Russia had an advantage in terms of weapons and equipment.

He said: “Great deal of time and extraordinary strength is required to thwart Russia’s advantage in weapons and equipment.”

In a speech, the Ukrainian President said that Russia had thrown “all the strength it has left” in attacking Donbas.

He added: “They want to destroy everything there.”

Mr Zelensky also made it clear that intercepted conversations have shown that morale in the Russian army is low.

He said: “They are well-aware this war does not make sense, and that strategically their army has no chance.”

It comes as the Ukrainian military is under more pressure at any time since the start of the war, according to the BBC.

In recent days, the Russians have intensified their attacks in Donbas as they get closer to encircling the city of Severodonetsk.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Moscow is gathering its forces for another push. 

Although Ukrainian forces have slowed the Russians down, they have been unable to stop the offensive with heavy casualties being inflicted.

A military source in the 57th Brigade told the BBC that one of their units went into the line with 240 men and came out with about 140 – the rest of them killed, wounded and captured.

Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk has said that the Russian war in Donbas is the “most active phase” of the ongoing invasion of his country.

He said: “Now we are observing the most active phase of the full-scale aggression which Russia unfolded against our country. 

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“The situation on the [eastern] front is extremely difficult, because the fate of this country is perhaps being decided [there] right now.”

It comes as Russian forces have taken control of three Donetsk region towns including Svitlodarsk, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told a local affiliate of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Earlier on Tuesday, the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic said in a post on the Telegram messaging service that it’s forces had taken control of Svitlodarsk.

They also confirmed that they had replaced the Ukrainian flag with a Russian flag.

Svitlodarsk is 80 kilometres southwest of Sievierodonetsk, which is the main focus of Russian attacks in recent days.

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