Zelensky Promises Donbas Will Be ‘Ukrainian Again,’ As Russian Forces Continue To Make Gains

Zelensky Promises Donbas Will Be ‘Ukrainian Again,’ As Russian Forces Continue To Make Gains

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2 hr 20 min agoZelensky promises Donbas will be “Ukrainian again,” as Russian forces continue to make gainsFrom CNN’s Niamh Kennedy in London 

The aftermath of a Russian air strike at a factory in Bakhmut, in the Donbas region of Ukraine on Friday May 27. (Andoni Lubaki/Sipa USA/Reuters)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised that Donbas will be “Ukrainian again,” as Russian forces continue to make incremental gains in the southeastern region. 

Speaking during his nightly address Friday, Zelensky called the current situation in Donbas “very difficult,” referencing Russia’s ramping up of firepower and manpower in the region. 

“That’s why we have to increase our defense, increase our resistance, and Donbas will be Ukrainian again. Even if Russia will bring all suffering and ruination to Donbas, we will rebuild every town, every community. There’s no real alternative,” Zelensky stressed. The US Defense Department maintained during a press briefing Friday that Russia is continuing to make “incremental gains” in Donbas. 

Ukraine continues to call on international partners, including the United Kingdom, to provide it with multiple launch rocket systems to counter the Russian offensive. 

While acknowledging Ukraine’s request, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby stressed during Friday’s briefing that “decisions… haven’t been made yet.” 

2 hr 4 min agoPentagon is “mindful” of Ukraine’s request for long-range rockets, spokesperson saysFrom CNN’s Michael Conte and Christian Sierra

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon on Friday, May 27. (Pool/CNN)The US Defense Department said it is “mindful and aware” of Ukraine’s request for multiple-launch rocket systems, but that “decisions … haven’t been made yet.”

“Our goal from the very beginning has been to try to help them in the fight that they’re in today,” said outgoing Pentagon press secretary John Kirby at a briefing with reporters.

“I won’t go so far as to say it’s too late to provide the Ukrainians with any system or capability that they might need because they are very active in the fight and they have pushed back the Russians up near Kharkiv,” Kirby said.

However, Kirby said the Defense Department is “mindful of the clock” when it comes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We are ever mindful as we have been since the beginning, mindful of the clock here, mindful of this sense of urgency, mindful that time is not our friend,” said Kirby, “which is why we have been continuing to move equipment literally every day for the last 90 plus days of this war.”CNN reported Thursday that the Biden administration is preparing to send MLRS systems as part of a larger package of military and security assistance to Ukraine, which could be announced as soon as next week. The MLRS and its lighter-weight version, the HIMARS, can launch as far as 300 kilometers (186 miles), depending on the type of munition.

1 hr 48 min agoUkrainian officials rebut claims that Russian troops have surrounded the city of SeverodonetskFrom CNN’s Kostan Nechyporenko

Smoke rises during shelling in the city of Severodonetsk, Ukraine on May 26. Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)Ukrainian officials are denying that Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region is surrounded, but have acknowledged that Russ

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Zelensky promises Donbas will be ‘Ukrainian again,’ as Russian forces continue to make gains

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