Ukraine says Russians pounding frontline positions with artillery

LVIV, Ukraine, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Russian forces are shelling Ukrainian positions with artillery fire and almost 400 strikes were carried out in the eastern region alone on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address.

Russia this month withdrew troops from the southern city of Kherson and moved some of them to strengthen their positions in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, an industrial region known as the Donbass.

“As before, fierce battles are taking place in the Donetsk region. Although there are fewer attacks today due to the deterioration of the weather, unfortunately, the number of Russian shelling remains very high,” Zelensky said.

“In the Luhansk region, we are slowly moving forward as we fight. Currently, there have been almost 400 artillery attacks in the east since the beginning of the day,” he continued.

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Zelensky also said that troops in the south were “consistently and very carefully destroying the potential of the invaders,” but did not provide any details.

Kyiv said on Saturday that a long-range artillery attack in the south killed about 60 Russian soldiers, the second time in four days that Ukraine suffered heavy casualties in the same incident.

According to Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst in Kyiv, according to his information, offensive battles are taking place on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka fronts in the Donetsk region and elsewhere.

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“The enemy is trying to break through our defenses, but it didn’t work,” Zhdanov said in a video on the social network. “We’re going to fight back – they’re taking huge losses.”

According to him, both armies are focused on regrouping. Ukrainian troops are being moved to Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk and Kharkiv and other cities. Russian troops are regrouping in the direction of Zaporozhye in Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that about 50 Ukrainian soldiers and 50 other military personnel had been killed in the previous day on the front line south of Donetsk. In total, on Saturday, 153 areas where Ukrainian manpower and military equipment were concentrated were destroyed.

Reuters could not immediately verify the statements from either Ukraine or Russia.

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Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine not a war, but a “special operation” to demilitarize and “denazize” its neighbor. Kyiv and its allies see the invasion as an unprovoked war of aggression.

On Sunday evening, Zelensky’s deputy head of administration, Kirylo Tymoshenko, said that Russian troops shelled a residential area in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine.

“There may be people under the rubble. The emergency service is working at the scene,” Tymoshenko said in the Telegram messaging application.

Kherson, the recently recaptured capital of the region, remains without electricity, water and heat.

Additional reporting by David Ljungren in Ottawa and Lydia Kelly in Melbourne; Written by David Ljungren and Lydia Kelly; Edited by Sandra Mahler and Diane Craft

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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