The occupation authorities of the Luhansk region intend to hold a “referendum” on joining the Russian Federation, according to Leonid Pasichnyk, a leader of the local administration.

“I think that in the nearest future there will be a referendum in the territory of the republic, where people will exercise their absolute constitutional right and express their opinion on joining the Russian Federation. For some reason, I am sure that this is exactly what will happen,” he said.

Meanwhile, British intelligence reports that Russian troops are concentrating their effort to try to encircle Ukrainian forces in Donbas.

“Russian forces appear to be concentrating their effort to attempt the encirclement of Ukrainian forces directly facing the separatist regions in the east of the country, advancing from the direction of Kharkiv in the north and Mariupol in the south,” the UK Defence Intelligence update reads.

The battlefield across northern Ukraine remains largely static with local Ukrainian counterattacks hampering Russian attempts to reorganise their forces.

According to the Ukrainian authorities, over the past day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to liberate several towns in the Sumy and Kharkiv regions from the occupiers. The enemy suffered significant losses in manpower and equipment.

Bohdan Marusyak

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