Russia Ukraine conflict

Zelenskyy expects more weapons as battle for Ukraine's east rages

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Ukraine expects to receive more weapons from allies after a new US pledge of help, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, as the battle for Ukraine's east raged 100 days into Russia's invasion.

Russia's forces now occupy about 20 per cent of Ukraine's territory, according to Zelenskyy. Russian President Vladimir Putin's military is focusing on the industrial Donbas region, comprised of Luhansk and Donetsk, in the hope of a high-profile victory.

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Three civilians were killed in Donetsk, including two in the coal-producing town of Avdiivka, and nine people were wounded, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said late on Thursday.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the details.

“The entire temporarily-occupied territory of our state is now a complete disaster zone, for which Russia bears full responsibility,” Zelenskyy said in a late-night address.

“We are expecting more good news on weapon supplies from other partners... We are working to bring the supply of modern combat systems to a much higher level,” he said.

Russia has accused the United States of adding “fuel to the fire” with a new $700 million weapons package for Ukraine that will include advanced rocket systems with a range of up to 80 km (50 miles).

President Joe Biden's administration has repeatedly said it had Ukraine's assurances it would not use the rocket systems to hit targets inside Russia.

Russia says it is engaged in a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and allies call this a baseless pretext for a war that has killed thousands, flattened cities, and forced more than 6 million people to flee abroad.

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