Russia's main goal in its military operation in Ukraine is to protect the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, RIA Novosti reported, quoting Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

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"In general, the defense of the republics is the main goal of the special military operation," Peskov said.

The DPR and LPR are two Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine that Moscow says it is struggling to break completely out of Kyiv's control.

We will not accept a stalemate on the battlefield, Zelenski announced

The "human cost" of the battle for Severodonetsk, a strategic city in eastern Ukraine, is "appalling," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said today as Russian forces advanced in recent days to seize the city without being able to place it entirely under their control. control.

"The human cost of this battle is very high. It is simply appalling," Zelensky said in a daily telegram address to Ukrainians.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine

Dmitry Peskov

Donetsk and Luhansk regions