Ukraine has reportedly clashed aggressively against Russian-backed separatists

Russia, meanwhile, has said it fears a full-scale resumption of hostilities in eastern Ukraine and could take steps to protect civilians.

Ukraine says it will control the two eastern regions against Russian-backed separatists and will not launch attacks against them, as fears have grown. Significant increase In a long-running dispute.

The statement came on Friday after fighting between the Ukrainian army and separatists intensified in recent weeks and the handover of troops to the Russian border.

Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak “By forcibly liberating the occupied territories, the army will inevitably report the death and casualty of a large number of civilians in the army,” said Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Ruslan Khomchak. In a statement.

He accused Moscow of using “intimidation and blackmail by the military” to aggravate the situation.

“Ukraine is supported by the whole civilized world. We are not alone in confronting the enemy, ”Khomchak added.

Russian threat

Earlier on Friday, the Kremlin said there was a risk of a full-blown resumption of hostilities in eastern Ukraine and that steps could be taken to protect civilians there.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said in a statement: “The Kremlin fears that civil war may break out in Ukraine, and if there is a civil war, a full-scale military operation near our border will threaten the Russian Federation.” “

The White House said Thursday that the number of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border was now “higher than at any time since 2014” when the first war in eastern Ukraine began after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula.

In the midst of intense fighting, on Thursday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky went to the eastern outskirts, where he spent the night.

“The fate of our country is determined here,” Zelensky said on Facebook, as published photos from his office showed him shaking hands with soldiers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests.

Zelensky, who has called on NATO to expedite his country’s membership in the alliance to support Europe, said on Thursday that he had been stationed where Ukrainian troops had been killed and wounded in recent weeks.

He said 226 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed since the beginning of the year, compared to 50 by 2020.

Ukraine’s predominantly Russian-speaking conflict has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that Ukraine’s NATO bid would “not only exacerbate the situation in the southeast, but also have irreversible consequences for the Ukrainian state.”

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