Ukraine says ready for ‘big battle’ in east, evacuations continue

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Ukraine’s presidential adviser said his country was fighting Russian forces, including in Donbass, as more than 4,000 civilians were evacuated after the Kramatorsk train station massacre.

Ukraine has said it is ready to fight a “big battle” in the east of its territory, a priority target for Moscow, where the evacuation of civilians continues in fear of an imminent offensive.

“Ukraine must win (the big battles)”

“Ukraine is ready for the big battles. Ukraine must win them, including in the Donbass”, a region in the east of the country, said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaïlo Podoliak, quoted by the Interfax news agency. -Ukraine.

“And when that happens, Ukraine will have a stronger position in the negotiations, which will allow it to dictate certain conditions,” he added.

Earlier in the day, President Volodymyr Zelensky, had underlined during a press conference with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, who went to kyiv: “We are ready to fight, and at the same time to seek diplomatic ways to stop this war.

After withdrawing its troops from the kyiv region and northern Ukraine, Russia has made its priority the total conquest of Donbass, part of which has been controlled since 2014 by pro-Russian separatists.

More than 4,500 civilians evacuated

Two days after the massacre at Kramatorsk station in the east of the country, where 52 civilians, including five children, who were preparing to flee were killed in a strike attributed to a Russian missile, the evacuation of the population is continued. Moscow has denied being responsible for the strike, going so far as to denounce a Ukrainian “provocation”. This Sunday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that 4,532 civilians had been evacuated the day before.

The majority left the Zaporizhia region, she added, adding that nearly 200 people were able to leave the beleaguered port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, and more than a thousand fled Melitopol, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk, Rubizhne, Kreminna and Popasna in the Luhansk region.

“The Russian enemy continues to prepare to intensify its offensive operations in eastern Ukraine and take full control of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions” in Donbass, the general staff of the Ukrainian army on Saturday in a daily update on Facebook.

Another 5 dead in a bombing in Donetsk

In addition to the continued fighting to take control of the key towns of Mariupol in the south and Izium further north, “the enemy continues to strike with missiles civilian targets throughout Ukraine”, warned the Staff. Bombings left 5 dead and 5 injured in the Donetsk region, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram in the evening.

In Lysytchansk, a small town in the Lugansk region, Mayor Olexandre Zaïka called on residents to leave as soon as possible.

“The situation in the city is very tense, I ask you to evacuate. It is becoming very difficult, enemy shells are falling everywhere,” he said in a message on Telegram.

And awaiting a major Russian offensive, Ukrainian soldiers and members of the Territorial Defense were busy fortifying their positions and digging new trenches in the rural area of ​​Barvinkove, in the east of the country. The roadsides were mined, and anti-tank obstacles installed at all crossroads.

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