Putin dealt hammer blow as Ukrainian separatists refuse to fight in Donetsk region

Russian LPR soldiers appear to 'refuse' to fight in Donetsk

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A regiment of about 70 Ukrainian separatist forces from the Russian-backed province of Luhansk have refused to take part in the Ukraine war in the neighbouring Russian-backed Donetsk province, as they claim they “accomplished their mission.” Russian troops aided by Ukrainian separatists took full control of the Luhansk People’s Republic – a province Vladimir Putin unilaterally recognised as independent at the beginning of the invasion – in July after intense fighting with Ukrainian forces. But the separatist forces now refuse to help Vladimir Putin in his aim to capture the other Russian-backed separatist province – the Donetsk People’s Republic.

The footage shows a group of Ukrainian separatist forces with one soldier reading out a speech to a camera.

He says: “We, conscripts mobilised reserve battalion 2740, refuse to go to the fighting on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

“Our mission of defending the Luhansk People’s Republic was accomplished. Victory Day was proclaimed. Head of the Republic 3rd July 2022.

“By lying, we would be forced on the territory of the DPR.”

The speech deals a blow to Vladimir Putin’s ambition of taking over the whole eastern region of Donbas made up of the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces. Since 2014, fighting has been raging on in the region between Russian forces aided by Ukrainian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

In a renewed effort to capture the Donbas region and the whole of Ukraine, Putin unilaterally recognised the independence of Donbas’ two provinces in the days leading up to the invasion.

Russian forces have had “partial success” in eastern Ukraine according to the latest report by Ukrainian forces, after making limited gains near the villages of Solodke and Novomykhailivka in the Donetsk region.

Russia has multiplied attacks on multiple fronts in recent days, targeting the south, and east of the country as well as the capital Kyiv.

However, Ukrainian forces are trying to reverse the tide and recapture territories lost to Russia like the Crimea Peninsula. Reports say several blasts have occurred, with an explosion at the depot in the village of Maiskoye, which led to the suspension of train services from Russia into most of the Kremlin-occupied Crimean Peninsula. 

Russia’s Ministry of Defence blamed “sabotage” for the explosion, ministry said in a statement, according to Russia’s state-owned agency RIA Novosti

The Kherson region in southern Ukraine saw Ukrainian forces destroy bridges and rail supply lines to isolate Russian forces.

According to Ukrainian officials and Western analysts, Russian forces are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the flow of ammunition, armour and fuel to front-line units.

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Speaking at a conference on international security in Moscow on Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Moscow had “no need” to use nuclear weapons to achieve its objectives in Ukraine, adding that the US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, are not having a “significant impact.”

In response to the US’ continued support of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has accused the US of stirring up tensions in Ukraine and other parts of the world.

“The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is trying to prolong this conflict. And they act in exactly the same way by fomenting conflict in Asia, Africa and Latin America,” Putin said in a video message played at the conference in Moscow.

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