'It is hell there': Volodymyr Zelensky claims Russia has destroyed Donbas
- Zelensky accused Russian forces of attempting to kill as many Ukrainians and do as much damage as possible
- Zelensky said that Russia was trying to exert even more pressure in the Donbas
- The US Congress has cleared a $40 billion aid package for the war-battered country
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russian forces had "completely destroyed" the industrial Donbas region and accused Russia of carrying out senseless bombardments as it intensified its offensive.
The Ukrainian President also accused Russian forces of attempting to kill as many Ukrainians and do as much damage as possible, repeating his charge that Russia was carrying out a genocide.
While Ukrainian forces were reportedly continuing to liberate the Kharkiv region to the east of Kyiv, Zelensky said that Russia was trying to exert even more pressure in the Donbas, which lies in the southeastern part of Ukraine.
"It is hell there - and that is not an exaggeration," he said in a late night video address, adding that 12 people had been killed in the "brutal and absolutely senseless bombardment" of Severodonetsk on Thursday.
"(There are) constant strikes on the Odessa region, on the cities of central Ukraine. The Donbas is completely destroyed," he said.
"This is a deliberate and criminal attempt to kill as many Ukrainians as possible, to destroy as many houses, social facilities and enterprises as possible."
The US Congress has cleared a $40 billion aid package for the war-battered country. The bill has now been sent to Joe Biden for the presidential nod. The latest package includes 18 more howitzers as well as anti-artillery radar systems, news agency AP reported.