President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the start of the "battle for Donbass". This is stated in a message published in his Telegram channel.
“A significant part of the Russian troops are concentrated there for the offensive,” Zelensky said. “No matter how many troops are driven there, we will defend ourselves.”
He also highlighted confidence that "nothing Ukrainian would be given away."
At the same time, the Ukrainian president said that from Nikolaev and Kharkov "it was reported powerful shelling." In Donetsk and Lugansk, "thrown strikes are heard on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the objects of the Ukrainian military near Kramatorsk and Slavyansk."
The Ukrainian military, who left the territory of the besieged Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, declared their desire to negotiate