Russia claims full control of east Ukraine region


Ukrainian Armed Forces destroy Russian military base

Russia said on Sunday its forces and their allies had taken control of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, after capturing the final Ukrainian holdout of Lysychansk, although Ukraine has yet to comment after reporting heavy fighting there.

After fierce Ukrainian resistance prevented Russian seizing the capital Kyiv after its Feb. 24 invasion, Moscow turned its focus to taking full control of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting in the area since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin that Luhansk had been “liberated”, the defence ministry said, after Russia earlier said its forces had captured villages around Lysychansk and encircled the city.

The minister said Russian forces and their allies in the area had “gained full control over the city of Lysychansk”.

Russia also reported explosions on Sunday in its city of Belgorod, about 40 km north of the border with Ukraine, that killed at least three people were killed and damaged and destroyed homes. Senior Russian lawmaker Andrei Klishas accused Ukraine of shelling Belgorod and called for a stern response.

Russian regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram that five homes were destroyed in the city and at least 11 apartment buildings and more than 30 houses were damaged. “The sound was so strong that I jumped up, I woke up, got very scared and started screaming,” a Belgorod resident told Reuters, adding the blasts occurred around 3 a.m. (0000 GMT).

In the Russian-occupied southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol, Ukrainian forces hit a military base with more than 30 strikes on Sunday, the city’s exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov said in a video address on Telegram. He said the base had been “taken out of action”. Ivan Fedorov, the mayor of Melitopol, has reported that on the night of 2-3 July, the Armed Forces of Ukraine struck and destroyed one of Russia’s four military bases in Melitopol.

In addition, thanks to our resistance forces, a Russian armoured cargo train with ammunition has been derailed.


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