With the support of the Russian army, the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics are performing a counteroffensive to repel the Ukrainian aggression in their territories.
On Thursday, the Russian army and militias from the Donetsk and Lugansk republics are carrying out operations to expel the Ukrainian forces from the Dombass. Below are the most recent developments in this conflict.
Ukrainian artillery shells the residential neighborhoods of Donetsk. On Thursday, the Donetsk People's Militia Spokesman Eduard Basurin denounced that the Ukrania continues purposefully bombarding thirteen residential areas. So Far, the Ukrainian aggression has left one civil dead and eight people wounded.
“The enemy has opened fire against the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic over 50 times since the beginning of the day, employing 152mm and 122mm artillery guns, 120mm and 82mm mortars, firing over 300 shells,” he pointed out.
The bombardments have affected houses and infrastructure in areas such as Gorlovka, Dokuchayevsk, Yelenovka, Ozeryanovka, Sakhanka, Zaichenko, Leninskoye, and Kominternovo.
Romania intercepts Ukrainian fighter and forces it to land. The Romanian defense ministry reported that two of its two F-16 fighters intercepted a Ukrainian military plane that was making an unauthorized flight in the northern part of Romania.
The interception was carried out peacefully and following international protocols. The Ukrainian plane was escorted to the Bacau 5 Air Base, where the Ukrainian military pilot turned himself in to the Romanian authorities.
"There will be no war on the land of Romania," Defense Minister Vasili Denko said, calling on the warring parties to resume diplomatic negotiations.
And what is all this for? The United States does not care about Ukraine. And there is no democracy there and there was not. All in order to create problems for Russia. Thousands of victims of Donbass at the stake of US ambitions. pic.twitter.com/IzA0nxXNbI— Максим Серебряный ���� (@maxidax) February 23, 2022
Ukraine seeks to return to “the path of peace.” Although President Volodymyr Zelensky did not acknowledge his contribution to the ongoing crisis, he hinted that his country would be ready to abandon its warlike intentions in the Donbass region.
"It was not Ukraine that started the war, but it is Ukraine that proposes to return to the path of peace," he said, as reported by Sputnik.
The United States sends warplanes to Lithuania. On Thursday, in the midst of the conflict unleashed in the Donbass region, US F-35 military planes landed in Siauliai, where the United States has concentrated the 3-66 heavy armored battalion.
Facebook shuts down the page of RIA Novosti. Alleging the spread of "false information," the U.S. company Facebook suspended the account of the news agency RIA Novosti for three months.
"We consider this to be another blatant violation of the freedom of speech by the American social network," the Russian agency said and announced that it would ask its country's authorities for support to resume its presence on Facebook.
“Fighting is ferocious” in Donbass - Murad Gazdiev reports from Luhansk— ����Freedom������ (@1AmKa3) February 24, 2022
“The sheer magnitude of the fighting here… the rocket propelled artillery, the multiple rocket launcher systems firing artillery, shells falling on the front line.” pic.twitter.com/5zUMf5p09m
The Ukrainian military infrastructure continues to weaken (13:32 GMT). Russia reported that its Armed Forces managed to disable 74 Ukrainian military facilities, including 11 airfields, 3 command posts, and 18 S-300 and Buk-M1 air defense radar stations. Russian forces also shot down a combat helicopter and 4 Bayraktar TB2 drones.
Ukrainian soldiers join the fight of the Donest People's Republic (DPR). Fifteen servicemen of the Ukrainian Army's 57th Mechanized Infantry Unit ignored their superiors, laid down their weapons, and joined separatist militias, according to the People's Militia of the DPR.
The popular militias continue their advance. Currently, the Donetsk and Lugansk militias are carrying out a successful counteroffensive to repel Ukrainian aggression. In an attempt to contain their advance, the Ukrainian military command ordered its troops to fight along the entire front line. It also decreed a "state of aerial threat" in Kiev. So far, the Russian Armed Forces have disabled 74 facilities of Ukraine's military infrastructure.
The Czechs restrict their diplomatic relations with Russia. The Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr FIala announced that his country will close two Russian consulates located on his territory and withdraw the Czech consulates in the cities of St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. The Czech authorities will suspend the issuance of visas to Russian citizens.
NATO to step up presence in eastern part of alliance, not inside Ukraine. On Thursday, NATO's Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the members of his organization agreed to further beef up its forces on its eastern flank near Ukraine but it has no intention of sending troops into Ukraine.
NATO did not have combat troops inside Ukraine and it "had no intention of deploying NATO troops to Ukraine," Stoltenberg said and called on Russia to immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine.
Ukraine severs diplomatic ties with Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kiev decides to sever diplomatic relations with Moscow after Russia launched military operations in Donbass.
"Ukraine is defending itself," Zelensky said, adding that over 40 Ukrainian soldiers and around 10 civilians were killed in the conflict.
The Ukrainian president announced that his administration will deliver weapons to all his compatriots who are ready to fight. During his speech, he called on Russian citizens to reject the government of President Vladimir Putin and protest against the war.
Earlier Thursday, Putin authorized the "special military operation," and Ukraine confirmed that military installations across the country were under attack.
O Centro de Operações Especiais das Forças Armadas da Ucrânia, próximo de Kiev, foi filmado nesta quinta-feira (24) em chamas. O caso se dá enquanto a Rússia realiza uma operação militar em Donbass e utiliza armas de alta precisão contra alvos da Ucrânia.— A Voz do Cerrado (@avozdocerrado_) February 24, 2022
Da @sputnik_brasil pic.twitter.com/fqWOJv9y2U
The tweet reads, "The Ukrainian Armed Forces' Special Operations Center, near Kiev, was filmed in flames on Thursday (24). This happens as Russia carries out a military operation in Donbass and uses high-precision weapons against Ukrainian targets."
Donetsk and Lugansk Militias execute counteroffensive. With the support of the Russian army, the militias of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics are performing a counteroffensive to repel the Ukrainian aggression in their territories.
"They broke through the first echelon line of defense of the Ukrainian Armed Forces," Russian Defense Minister spokesperson Gen. Igor Konashenkov said, warning that the Ukrainian Security Service is carrying out disinformation operations through social networks.
"Movies of alleged 'mass casualties' among the civilian population were staged in Ukrainian cities... Their aim is to accuse Russia of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks so as to intimidate the civilian population."
Konashenkov emphasized that the Russian army is not attacking Ukrainian cities or threatening the civilian population. Ukrainian forces, however, continue to carry out attacks on Donbass cities and cause civilian casualties.