Russian Forces Captured Kreminna In Eastern Ukraine
- Russian forces have captured the town of Kreminna in Luhansk Oblast.
- Putin ally held in Ukraine suggests prisoner swap for Mariupol forces.
- 4 civilians shot dead while fleeing town in Ukraine's Luhansk region.
Ukraine: Russian troops on Monday captured the east Ukraine town of Kreminna, local authorities said, as Kyiv’s armed forces launched salvos on Russian forces in the nearby settlement of Rubizhne. “There was a major attack in the night” from Sunday to Monday in Kreminna, the Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said in a statement on social media.
Kreminna, with a pre-war population of nearly 20,000 people is around 50 kilometres (31 miles) northeast of Kramatorsk, the region’s administrative centre, and is a strategic target for invading Russian forces. Rubizhne, which is under the control of Russian forces, was under intense fire from Ukrainian artillery and mortars, as per reports. Powerful explosions could be seen in Rubizhne, sometimes followed by fires and plumes of white or black smoke. Russian forces have stepped up their offensive to capture the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine having pulled back troops deployed around the capital Kyiv at the beginning of the invasion in late February.
Meanwhile, an explosion in Kyiv was also reported by local media, though deputy mayor Mykola Povoroznyk said air defence systems had thwarted Russian attacks. Russia said it had destroyed an ammunition factory near the capital. Shelling in Ukraine’s second-biggest city, Kharkiv, killed 7 people and injured 13, Ukrainian media reported. On Sunday, police in the Donetsk region said that over the past 24 hours Russian forces opened fire on 13 settlements under Ukrainian control, killing two civilians.
Russia said Ukraine had lost more than 4,000 soldiers in Mariupol as of Saturday. Kyiv says its total troop losses nationwide so far in the war are less than that, between 2,500 and 3,000. Russia calls its action a special military operation to demilitarise Ukraine and eradicate what it calls dangerous nationalists. The West and Kyiv accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of unprovoked aggression.