Russians advance as Zelenskiy warns of escalation

STORY: Armored vehicles approach the Ukrainian town of Toshkivka as smoke rises from buildings in this drone video obtained by Reuters.

Moscow’s separatist proxies claim they have captured the town - which lies just south Sievierodonetsk - one of the main battlefields of the war.

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the video or the date it was filmed but did verify the location via satellite imagery.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned in a video message Sunday that Russia is looking to step up its attacks.

"Obviously, this week we should expect from Russia an intensification of its hostile activities, as an example. And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready."

The war has entered a brutal attritional phase in recent weeks.

In Odessa - Ukraine's largest Black Sea port - a food warehouse was destroyed in a Russian missile attack on Monday, Ukraine's military said.

Shelling has also resumed north of Kharkiv - as Russian forces try to get closer to the city.

EU leaders later this week are expected to give their blessing to Ukraine becoming an official candidate to join - a decision that will be marked as a triumph in Kyiv.

"We know who invaded Ukraine. This was not the invasion of the West against Russia. That was not the invasion of the West against Ukraine. That was the Russian invasion against Ukraine."

Russia says it is running a 'special military operation' aimed at disarming a neighbor it sees as a threat.

Kyiv believes Moscow's true aim is to restore control over Ukraine and erase its national identity.

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