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Eastern Europe

Russia Takes All Of Luhansk In Donbass

Ukrainian Forces Withdraw From Final Luhansk Village As Russia Continues Artillery Onslaught
Stela-Lysychansk
Напис Лисичанськ, автор М. Ломако
Image by NikolaSkuridin

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Russian forces now control the last major urban area in the Luhansk region of Donbass, East Ukraine, giving Moscow a major victory in the four month long, invasion phase of the war that began in 2014.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

“On July 3, 2022, the Russian Minister of Defense, General of the Army Sergey Shoigu reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic,” the ministry said.

The ministry added the Russian Armed Forces and the People’s Militia of the LPR have established full control over Lisichansk and a number of nearby settlements, the largest of which are Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantsevo, and Belaya Gora. “The total area of the territories liberated over the past 24 hours reached 182 square km,” the Russian Defense Ministry stressed.

Lysychansk had been the last major city in the Luhansk area of the eastern Donbas region still in Ukrainian hands and frees up Moscow’s forces to advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in neighbouring Donetsk, reported The Moscow Times.

President Volodymyr Zelensky had earlier denied Russian claims of Lysychansk’s fall before the Ukrainian army announced the retreat on Sunday evening.

“The continuation of the defence of the city would lead to fatal consequences” in the face of Russia’s superiority in numbers and equipment, the army said in a statement. 

“In order to preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, a decision was made to withdraw.

“Unfortunately, steel will and patriotism are not enough for success — material and technical resources are needed.”

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