Ukraine claims to have captured a village in eastern Donetsktext_fields
Kyiv: Ukraine said that it has captured the village of Yatskivka in the eastern Donetsk region and territory to the south of Bakhmut.
Yatskivka is on the eastern bank of the Oskil river which has strategic value. Bakhmut is a key city with a pre-war population of 70,000. Both have been under Russian attack since the beginning of the invasion but failed to capture it fully.
Moscow-proxies are holding a vote on the annexation of the Donetsk region and three other provinces - Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, reported AFP. Kyiv and its western allies have dismissed the ballots as a sham. Kyiv claimed that the residents of four occupied regions are threatened with punishment if they did not vote. Moscow began attempts to hold referendums earlier this month. The four regions amount to 15% of Ukraine's territory.
After Ukrainian forces started retaking its territories, Russian President Putin warned of more aggressive actions. Some think his move to draft 300,000 reservists to reinforce his troops will not win the war but drag the conflict for a longer period. Igor Levchenko, head of strategic modeling at New Geopolitics, told Bloomberg: "I'm not sure this amounts to an escalation, but it does extend the time it will take for Ukraine to win."
It could also buy Moscow time to execute a wide strategy which may include Europe's energy crisis and the threat of a nuclear crisis. Russia has lost about 80,000 soldiers to death or injuries in its "special operation" in Ukraine.