Russia ramps up attacks in southern Ukraine in addition to offensive in the east

Ukrainian and Russian forces appear to be locked in fierce battles as Russia has intensified attacks in southern Ukraine in addition to its offensive in the east.

The Russian defense ministry on Sunday claimed to have made advances in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia.

The Ukrainian military admitted that it allowed Russian forces to make advances in some parts of the region due to their missile strikes and attacks by small groups. But it added that it pushed back Russian forces at many locations.

The Ukrainian military also said on Sunday that Russian forces are continuing attacks to capture Ukraine's stronghold of Bakhmut in the eastern region of Donetsk.

The governor of the neighboring Luhansk region, Serhiy Haidai, wrote on social media that his region is being liberated little by little by Ukrainian forces despite ongoing heavy fighting.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed in France on Sunday that his country will continue to support Ukraine for as long and as comprehensively as necessary.

Berlin on Friday refused to clarify whether it would allow German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to be supplied to Ukraine. Kyiv has been pleading for the tanks.

The deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, wrote on social media that supplies of heavy weapons to Kyiv leave no doubt that Moscow's enemies will be trying to destroy Russia. Medvedev is Russia's previous president.