Russian forces appeared to be stalled in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region despite “significant efforts” in the Izium and Severodonetsk areas to make a breakthrough to Kramatorsk, the major city in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the coal basin. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
7:43am: Duma deputy head visits Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Kherson: reports
Senior Russian lawmaker Anna Kuznetsova visited the Russian-occupied region of Kherson in Ukraine to discuss social and healthcare needs of the local population, the state RIA news agency reported on Saturday.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
Kherson is the first region set to be annexed after Moscow said in April it had gained full control of the region, which has seen sporadic anti-Russian protests.
Kuznetsova, deputy head of Russia’s Duma or lower house of parliament, discussed the supply of foodstuffs as well as medical and other products needed for children, RIA reported.
4:33am: Heavy fighting in Donbas region
Intense fighting is raging in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, according to a local officials.
“There is heavy fighting on the border with the Donetsk region, near Popasna,” said Lugansk regional governor Sergei Gaidai in a Facebook post late Friday. There were heavy losses in personnel and equipment on the Russian side, he added.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Friday said Ukrainian forces had “successfully” repelled a Russian attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets river west of Severodonetsk.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)