Live: Fighting rages in Donbas, Russian forces appear stalled

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Russian forces appeared to have stayed in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region despite “significant efforts” in the Izium and Severodonetsk areas to make a breakthrough to Kramatorsk, the large city in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the coal basin. Follow FRANCE 24’s live blog for the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT + 2).

8:05 a.m .: Moscow-administered Kherson asks to be included in Russia: Great Britain

The Russian-led military-civilian administration in Ukraine’s Kherson region said it would ask Russia to include it in the Russian Federation, according to the British Ministry of Defense.

If Russia conducts an accession referendum in Kherson, it will almost certainly manipulate the results to show a clear majority to leave Ukraine, Britain said in a regular Twitter bulletin.

07:43: Duman’s deputy chief visits Ukraine’s Russian – occupied Kherson: reports

Senior Russian lawmaker Anna Kuznetsova visited the Russian-occupied Kherson region of Ukraine to discuss the social and health needs of local people, the state news agency RIA reported on Saturday.

The report could not be confirmed independently.

Kherson is the first region to be annexed after Moscow said in April that 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, discussed the range of food and medical and other products needed for children, the RIA reported.

04:33: Fierce fighting in the Donbas region

Intense fighting is underway in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, according to a local official.

“Fierce fighting is taking place on the border with the Donetsk region, near Popasna,” Lugansk regional governor Sergei Gaidai said in a Facebook post late Friday. There were large losses in personnel and equipment on the Russian side, he added.

The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Friday that Ukrainian forces had “successfully” repulsed a Russian attempt to cross the Siverskyi Donet River west of Severodonetsk.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP and REUTERS)

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