News analysis

Russia attacks Ukraine's eastern provinces, giving Putin chance to claim victory

Depriving Ukraine of the eastern lands, which hold large coal and gas deposits, will deal a heavy blow to the country, which is a Russian objective. PHOTO: AFP
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LONDON - The long-expected Russian military assault on Ukraine’s eastern provinces is now unfolding, with Russian troops launching a concerted attack along a broad front in the Ukrainian region of Donbas, and across a frontline of almost 500km. 

“The battle for the Donbas is now under way,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised address to his nation on late Monday (April 19) as news came of further Russian advances, including the capture of the city of Kreminna in the east.

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