‘Operational pause for Russian troops’ • Ukraine wants counter-offensive in south

After the capture of Lysychansk, Russian troops will target the eastern Ukrainian cities of Slovyansk and Bachmut, Ukrainian governor of the Lugansk region, Serhi Hajdaj, expects. Ukrainian military has taken up new defensive positions. According to Hajday, the weeks-long battle for Severodonetsk and Lysystchansk has given Ukrainians time to build fortified positions in the Donetsk region that “make it more difficult for the Russians”.

The Ukrainians meanwhile hope to mount a counter-offensive in the south of the country. According to an adviser to President Zelensky, he sees opportunities because he says that 60 percent of Russia’s troops are now concentrated in the east of the country and it is difficult to move them quickly to the south.

In his overnight video address, President Zelensky said the Ukrainian military is still militant after five months of war and determined to break “the will of Moscow”.

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