Zelenskiy defiant as Russia intensifies attacks on eastern cities
Ukraine on Monday acknowledged difficulties in fighting in the east of the country as Russian forces captured territory along a frontline river and intensified pressure on two key cities ahead of an EU summit expected to welcome Kyiv's bid to join the bloc.
The governor of the Luhansk region, scene of the heaviest Russian onslaughts in recent weeks, said the situation was "extremely difficult" along the entire front line there as of Monday evening and the Russian army had gathered sufficient reserves to begin a large-scale offensive.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had predicted Moscow would escalate attacks ahead of the EU summit on Thursday and Friday. In his customary nighttime address to the nation on Monday, he was defiant, while also referring to "difficult" fighting in Luhansk for Sievierodonetsk and its sister city