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Moscow proclaims the liberation of the Republic of Lugansk, after the defeat of kyiv in Lissitchansk – RT in French

The Ukrainian army has confirmed its withdrawal from Lissitchansk, the last major municipality it still controlled in the Lugansk oblast, at war since 2014. Moscow for its part announced the “liberation” of the Republic of the same name.

A new major step for the Russian military operation, the Ukrainian army confirmed on July 4 its withdrawal from Lissitchansk. The capture of this strategic city in eastern Ukraine had been claimed a few hours earlier by Moscow. The entire Lugansk region is therefore now controlled by the self-proclaimed republic of the same name allied with Russia. Moscow, which welcomed the “liberation” of this territory, announced by the voice of Vladimir Putin that the Russian forces were going to continue their offensive in Ukraine.

An untenable position for kyiv

“In order to preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, the decision was taken to withdraw” from the city, the Ukrainian armed forces general staff announced in a press release.

“Under the conditions of multiple superiority of Russian troops in artillery, air force, missile launching systems, ammunition and personnel, continuing the defense of the city would have had fatal consequences,” the statement added.

After weeks of fighting, the capture of Lyssytchansk, which had 95,000 inhabitants before the war, allows the forces allied to the Russian Federation to advance in the Donbass, an industrial basin in the largely Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and theater of a war since 2014.

On July 3, RT cameras were able to film the trenches near the city, suggesting the hasty departure of the Ukrainian army, which abandoned its positions leaving personal effects.

Other goals in the west for Russia, Zelensky promises a reconquest

In the morning, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that the Russian army and its allies had taken “complete control of Lysytchansk and other nearby towns”.

According to a statement, Russian Defense Minister “Sergei Shoigu informed [le président Vladimir] Putin of the liberation of the people’s republic of Lugansk”, one of the two separatist entities, with that of Donetsk, fighting to secede from Ukraine. These eastern Ukrainian territories refuse to recognize the authorities resulting from the coup d’etat that occurred in 2014 and have since been the target of regular bombardments by the Ukrainian army.

In his evening speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for his part tried to save face, despite this major military setback. “If the command of our army withdraws troops from certain points of the front where the enemy has the advantage of fire – and this applies in particular to Lysychansk – it means only one thing: that we will return”, he launched.

“Today [les Russes] amassed their greatest firepower in the Donbass. And they can fire tens of thousands of artillery shells per day on a section of the front. This is the reality”, explained the president.

I hope that in their sectors everything will turn out as it happened in Lugansk

“We are moving forward gradually, both in the Kharkiv regions [nord-est] and Kherson [sud]and at sea […] A day will come when we will say the same thing about Donbass”, he nevertheless assured, according to comments reported by AFP.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his forces to continue their offensive in eastern Ukraine. The Russian forces “must carry out their missions according to the plans already approved”, declared the Russian president during an interview with his Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, broadcast on television. “I hope that in their sectors everything will happen as it happened in Lugansk,” he added.

Russia and the forces allied with it should now continue their advance towards Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, two major cities further west, hit on July 3 by rocket fire. In his speech for the evening, Volodymyr Zelensky reported a balance sheet of six dead in the fighting in Sloviansk, including a nine-year-old girl, and “about twenty wounded”. Moscow has not confirmed this assessment, and has been repeating since the start of its offensive that it does not target civilian infrastructure, but only military.

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