Vladimir Putin to use ‘increased savagery’ in desperate effort to capture Donbas region

Ukraine: Putin to use ‘increased savagery’ in Donbas region

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Vladimir Putin’s invading forces have launched a campaign of ‘savagery’ in a desperate attempt to capture the Donbas region. The Russian military are reportedly targeting dense residential areas as towns in eastern Ukraine have faced relentless shelling. Special correspondent Alex Crawford highlighted the rapid shift in Russian tactics as she visited the area of Bakhmut, a town under Russian attack.

Speaking for Sky News, she said: “They’re trying to claim more and more land in the Donbas region.”

Ms Crawford continued: “The Russian bombs are finding new targets every day.

“The towns around here are being hit day and night, the targets in the centre of heavily built-up residential areas.”

During her visit to Bakhmut, the correspondent visited a factory that reportedly supplied heating to an estimated 10,000 residents in the area, now destroyed by Russian bombs.

In the attack, Ms Crawford confirmed there were several fatalities, including one death of a defending Ukrainian soldier.

The Sky News reporter discussed the attack with a Ukrainian soldier who witnessed the bombing.

The soldier explained he narrowly escaped a tragic fate as he was stationed only a few hundred metres away when Russian forces targeted the town. 

Ms Crawford asked: “What do you think the Russians are trying to do with these attacks?”

The Ukrainian soldier replied: “They’re targeting civilians, they’re just trying to make civilians panic.”

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The correspondent added: “The Ukrainian successes in fighting off the Russians from Kyiv and Kharkiv have meant the invaders have upped the tempo with increased savagery to try to wrestle control of Donbas.”

Following their failure to capture the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Russian officials have redirected their attention towards the eastern Donbas region.

The regions of Donetsk and Luhansk run along the Russian border and have faced fierce attacks as Putin seeks to expand his territory.

Having initially promised a short ‘specialised military operation’ in Ukraine, Putin’s attack is now dragging on into the third month of invasion.

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Since the Russian invasion began in February, the UN has recorded 7,564 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 3,668 confirmed deaths.

The far higher number of Ukrainian civilians are currently missing or displaced as over six million have fled the country as refugees of war.

In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, in particular, 2,014 civilians have been killed in Russian attacks.

The UN has confirmed: “Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and airstrikes.

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