Speed Reads

phase 2

Russia begins new military offensive in Ukraine's Donbas region

Russia on Monday officially launched its "long-feared, full-scale offensive" in the eastern region of Ukraine, The Associated Press reports.

"Now we can already state that the Russian troops have begun the battle for the Donbas, for which they have been preparing for a long time," Zelensky said in a video address on the matter. A "significant part of the entire Russian army is now concentrated on this offensive," he added. 

Recently, for reasons perhaps geared toward saving face, Moscow shifted the main goal of its war effort to the control and capture of the Russian separatist-backed Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, AP writes. The Kremlin's decision to do so arrived after its forces failed to take over Kyiv.

"No matter how many Russian troops are driven there, we will fight," Zelensky said. "We will defend ourselves. We will do it every day."

Also on Monday, Russian missile strikes in the western city Lviv — which has until now remained a relatively safe haven — left at least seven dead, NBC News adds.