The Kremlin, urging Kyiv to order its troops to lay down their arms, said on Tuesday that Russia would halt its offensive as soon as Ukraine surrendered, according to AFP.
“The Ukrainian side can put an end to everything today,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“An order for nationalist units to lay down their arms is required,” he said, adding that Kyiv must meet a list of Moscow’s demands.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged world powers on Monday to do everything possible to help end Russia’s intervention by the end of the year.
When asked to comment on Zelensky’s remarks, Peskov stated, “We are guided by our president’s statements, the special military operation is going according to plan and achieving its goals.”
The eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk is still repelling Russian attacks, local authorities said on Tuesday, after Moscow’s troops took control of the neighboring key city of Severodonetsk.
“Lysychansk will continue to defend,” said Lugansk region governor Sergiy Gaiday on Telegram.
According to Gaiday, of the 95,000 people that lived in the city before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, around 15,000 remain.
“The Lugansk region is becoming a total ruin. The damage to the villages is catastrophic,” he said.
He also stated that several people were “forced to undergo amputations” after being injured in a Russian strike on Monday. The strike in Lysychansk killed eight people and injured 21 others.
The Russian forces’ next objective is to take the entire eastern Donbas region of Ukraine, which includes the Lugansk and Donetsk regions.
After weeks of fierce fighting, they captured Lysychansk’s twin city, Severodonetsk, over the weekend.