Kyiv warns of long cuts after Russian missiles batter grid

Russian army says Moscow-backed Ukraine rebels advancing


MOSCOW: Moscow-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine are advancing and gaining territory following a Kremlin attack on the country, the Russian military said on Thursday.

Military spokesman Igor Konashenkov told state television that forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic gained “up to three kilometres” (1.8 miles) in territory and those of the Lugansk People’s Republic “advanced one and a half kilometres.”

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 two rebel republics in eastern Ukraine and signing a treaty of friendship with them.

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