Russia claimed victory in Ukraine’ s Luhansk region in the east, which became a focus of its invasion after a failed campaign to take Kyiv.
The takeover became complete when Russian forces and separatists established “full control” over the city of Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
“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, according to Russia’s state-run news agency TASS . “The total area of the territories liberated over the past 24 hours reached 182 square km,” Russian officials added.
A Ukrainian official informed the Wall Street Journal that defenders were retreating from Luhansk in order to avoid being surrounded. This lines up with a post by the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, which said, “Ukrainian forces likely conducted a deliberate withdrawal from Lysychansk, resulting in the Russian seizure of the city on July 2.” The area has been the site of “relentless artillery bombardment,” reported the New York Times .
Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, seeking to blitz Ukraine and quickly take the capital of Kyiv. However, in the face of stiff resistance by Western-backed Ukrainian forces, Moscow turned its focus to the eastern region of Ukraine .
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a “special military operation in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republic for help,” TASS said in its report Sunday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky previously vowed not to cede any region in Ukraine to the Russians, stressing he doubts the Russian military would stop with the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk […]
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