Thursday, October 6, 2022

Zelenskiy vows no let-up as Ukraine says troops cross Oskil River in northeast

Zelenskiy vows no let-up as Ukraine says troops cross Oskil River in northeast

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia as Kyiv reported its troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River, threatening Russian occupation forces in the Donbas.

Crossing the Oskil is another important milestone in Ukraine's counter-offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region as it flows south to the Siversky Donets River, which goes right through Luhansk, one of two provinces in the Donbas region.

Ukrainian troops "have pushed across the Oskil. From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank," the Ukrainian Armed Forces wrote on Telegram late Sunday.

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk region, wrote on Telegram: "Luhansk region is right next door. Decoccupation is not far away."

Zelenskiy vowed to keep up the pressure on Moscow after Ukraine's rapid gains in Kharkiv this month.

"Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts," he said in his regular nightly address on Sunday. "But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series ... For Ukraine must be free. All of it."

US President Joe Biden also said victory for Ukraine meant removing Russian forces from the entire country, and pledged U.S. support for as long as it takes.

"Winning the war in Ukraine is to get Russia out of Ukraine completely and to recognise the sovereignty. They’re defeating Russia," he said in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" broadcast on Sunday.

"Russia’s turning out not to be as competent and capable as many people thought they were going to be."

Russian artillery pounded towns and villages across the frontlines in the east and south on Sunday, including civilian infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia city, Ukrainian officials said.

Britain said Russian forces had widened strikes on civilian infrastructure following battlefield setbacks and were likely to expand their targets further.

"As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government," Britain's defence ministry said.

Ukraine's southern command on Monday said strikes were also launched on a radar station near Kherson and on a pontoon crossing near Nova Kakhovka east of Kherson, where a Ukrainian counter-offensive has focused on taking out bridges across the Dnipro and Inhulets Rivers.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield reports.

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