KIEV, February 26. /TASS/. Ukraine's military has lost control over three towns in the Lugansk Region, the head of the Lugansk military and civilian administration said on Saturday.
"The situation may change at any moment, stay close to the shelters," Sergey Gaidai wrote on Facebook adding that control had been lost over "Stanitsa Luganskaya, Krymskoye and Markovka."
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories. Its objective is demilitarization and denazification of the country.
When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.