Austria’s chancellor on Monday will be the first European leader to visit Moscow since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Kyiv prepared for a huge Russian offensive in the country’s east.
Karl Nehammer stated that he would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and is expecting to raise alleged war crimes in devastated areas around Kyiv that were under Russian occupation, including the town of Bucha.
Ukrainian authorities said that over 1,200 bodies have been discovered in the area so far and that they are weighing cases against “500 suspects”, including Putin and other top Russian officials.
Meanwhile, the Russian military is now turning their face towards the Donbas region in the east, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops were preparing “even larger operations.”
It is believed that Russia is seeking a link between occupied Crimea and Moscow-backed separatists territories Donetsk and Lugansk in Donbas.
At the same time, President Zelenskyy said, “They can use even more missiles against us. But we are preparing for their actions. We will respond.”
Lugansk governor Sergiy Gaiday alerted that the region could suffer as badly as Mariupol, a besieged port city that even pro-Russian authorities say has been 70% ruined by fighting.
Gaiday added, “The battle for Donbas will last several days, but during these days, our cities may be completely destroyed.”
Over the weekend, ongoing attacks on the region hampered evacuations, and around 12 people were killed in and around northeast Kharkiv, regional governor Oleg Synegubov said.
Synegubov mentioned, “The Russian troops continue to wage war on civilians due to lack of victories at the front.”