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Zelensky is asking for $840 million in winter aid for Ukraine

Zelensky is asking for $840 million in winter aid for Ukraine

Leader of Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk says situation at front is ‘difficult’

Denis Pushlin, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, speaks to reporters in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on July 13. (photo: AP)

Denis Pushlin, the president of the self-appointed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, described the situation on the front line in the region as “difficult”, according to Russian state media.

In remarks compiled by the state news agency RIA Novosti, Pushlin, backed by Moscow, said that although Russian units continued to advance, it was not “as fast as we would like.”

He also noted that advances of 50 to 200 meters play an “important role in liberating populated areas”.

Wagner in Bakhmut: Pushlin also spoke directly about the situation in and around Bakhmut and the use of mercenaries from Wagner, a Russian private military group, in that part of the front line.

He said Wagner fighters were clearing Yakovlevka, 16 kilometers (10 miles) northeast of Bakhmut, in the direction of Solidar.

“They are continuing to work around Bakhmut to create the conditions for a more complete overrun of Bakhmut itself,” he said.

Pushlin also commented on the ongoing attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. He described the attacks as successful and “complicated military logistics and communications between units”.

“Taken together, this creates the conditions for bringing an absolute and exact defeat closer to the rest of Ukraine,” he said.

some contextDonetsk: The city of Donetsk has been occupied by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, however, Ukrainian forces remain just a few kilometers from its border and maintain the most control over the area.

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In October, Russia’s legislature approved President Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex four parts of Ukraine, namely Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson, and Luhansk, despite not fully controlling those regions. This move is illegal under international law.