Russian forces appeared stalled in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region, despite “significant efforts” in the Izium and Severodonetsk areas to make a breakthrough toward Kramatorsk, the main city in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the coalfield. . Follow the FRANCE 24 live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
7:43 am: Duma deputy head visits Kherson in Russian-occupied Ukraine: reports
Top Russian lawmaker Anna Kuznetsova has visited Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Kherson region to discuss the social and health care needs of the local population, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday.
The report could not be independently confirmed.
Kherson is the first region to be annexed after Moscow said in April it had gained full control of the region, which has seen sporadic anti-Russian protests.
Kuznetsova, deputy head of Russia’s Duma, or lower house of parliament, spoke about the provision of food, as well as medical and other necessary products for children, RIA reported.
4:33 am: Heavy fighting in the Donbass region
Heavy fighting is taking place in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, according to local officials.
“There is heavy fighting on the border with the Donetsk region, near Popasna,” Lugansk regional governor Sergei Gaidai said in a Facebook post on Friday night. There were heavy losses of personnel and equipment on the Russian side, he added.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had “successfully repelled” a Russian attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donets River west of Severodonetsk.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)