Russian army says Moscow-backed Ukraine rebels advancing
MOSCOW — The Russian army said Thursday that Moscow-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine were advancing and had gained territory after the Kremlin launched an attack on the country.
Military spokesman Igor Konashenkov told state television that forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic gained “up to three kilometers” (1.8 miles) in territory and those of the Lugansk People’s Republic “advanced one and a half kilometers.”
He added that Russia had “high precision weapons” and that Ukrainian civilians had “nothing to fear.”
Konashenkov said the Russia-backed rebel troops are “now fighting and inflicting … damage on the enemy.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was launching an offensive on Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday.
He did so after recognizing the two rebel republics in eastern Ukraine and signing friendship treaties with them.
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