The United States warned that Moscow plans to hold referendums “in mid-May” to “try to annex” the pro-Russian separatist “republics” of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Russia resumed this Monday (05.02.2022) its bombardments against Odessa, the large port city in southern Ukraine, firing a missile that caused at least one death, while the United States accused the Russian government of wanting to “annex” two pro-Russian separatist territories from the east.
Russian forces are concentrating their efforts in the southern and eastern part of the country, in particular the Donbas region and in Odessa, on the shores of the Black Sea, after failing to take the capital kyiv in the first weeks of the war. .
The Odessa city council reported on Telegram that a Russian bombardment reached a residential building in which there were five people and that a 15-year-old teenager died, while a minor was hospitalized.
The fighting is especially intense around Izium, Lyman, and Rubijné, positions that the Russians are trying to take to “prepare their attack on Severodonetsk”, one of the main Donbas cities still controlled by kyiv, the Ukrainian General Staff said on Monday.
“The situation in the Lugansk region can be described in a few words: heavy fighting is still going on,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry warned.
As May 9 approaches, the date on which Ruia commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the governor of the Lugansk region said he expected “an intensification of bombing.”
But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov appeared to dismiss that idea. “Our military will not artificially adjust their actions to any date,” he said in an interview with Italy’s Mediaset television channel on Sunday.
But, beyond Russia’s military decisions, the United States warned that Moscow is planning to hold referendums “in mid-May” to “try to annex” the pro-Russian separatist “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east.
“Moscow foresees a similar plan for Kherson”, a Ukrainian coastal city controlled by Russia since it launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter.
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