Ukrainian army advances east, president ‘freaks occupier’ to counterattack in Donbass | Reuters

[イジュム(ウクライナ) 20日 ロイター] – According to Ukrainian officials, the Ukrainian army is preparing to advance its forces eastwards into territory abandoned by Russia and to counterattack Russian forces in the Donbass region.

On September 20, Ukrainian forces said they were preparing to push their forces east into abandoned Russian territory and counterattack Russian forces in the Donbas region. FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Presidential News Service in Kupyansk, Kharkiv region October 19, 2020. REUTERS/Ukrainian Presidential News Service

Pro-Russian leaders in Donbass have called for a quick referendum on Russia’s annexation, showing signs of nervousness over Ukraine’s momentum.

“The occupiers are clearly in a state of panic,” President Zelensky said in a televised address on the night of the 19th. The emphasis is on “speed” in the liberated areas, he said.

In a video address to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, he said he would call on countries to do more to provide arms and aid.

Gaidai, the governor of Lugansk province in the Donbass region, which is now under Russian military control, said Ukrainian forces had taken full control of the village of Bilokholivka in the province and were ready to retake the entire province.

In another part of Donetsk, in the Donbass region, 13 people were killed in the shelling of the city of Donetsk on Saturday, according to Russian-backed separatist officials.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the situation in the two states.

Pro-Russian leader of Donetsk region Denis Pushhirin has called on pro-Russian leaders in Luhansk to prepare a referendum on Russia’s annexation. “We have to act together,” he said in a video posted to social media on Wednesday.

Sinegbov, governor of Kharkov province in eastern Ukraine, said on Thursday that 146 bodies, mostly civilians, had been exhumed so far from a mass grave near Izyum in the province, which had been recaptured from the Russian forces. President Zelensky said he believed 450 bodies were buried in a mass grave discovered in the woods outside Izym.

Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear energy company Energoatom reported that Russian forces attacked a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine in the southern Mikolayov region in the early hours of the 19th. The reactor was undamaged and operating normally.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday that standby transmission lines to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine had been cut. However, he said he was still connected to one of his main power lines, which was restored last week.

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