Donetsk, Mar 21 – DAN. DPR People's Militia has liquidated 44 members of Ukrainian armed formations over the last day, DPR Defence's deputy chief of staff Eduard Basurin said.

"Over the last day, DPR service members liquidated 44 Ukrainian occupants, destroyed one tank, two IFVs, three fire positions of MT-12 Rapira anti-tank guns," he said.

Two self-propelled Gvozdika howitzers, one IFV, two armoured vehicles and three trucks have been captured.

Nineteen service members of the 25th and 54th Ukrainian brigades have laid down arms and defected to the DPR.

Russia started a special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the decision was made after the DPR and LPR Heads addressed him asking for help.

The Russian leader said that Moscow is not planning to occupy Ukrainian territory, the only goal is to protect people who have been continuously shelled and subjected to other forms of genocide by Ukraine for eight years. *ot