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Ukrainian forces withdraw from Lysychansk – CBS Tampa

UKRAINE. (CW44 News At 10 | CNN) – Russia has taken control of Lysychansk, the last town in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine that was still under Ukrainian control.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the army took control of Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements on Sunday, according to the country’s Defense Ministry.

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Ukraine’s military announced on Sunday that it had been “forced to withdraw” from the critical city.

In his nightly televised address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the retreat from Lysychansk was motivated to save the lives of Ukrainian troops.

“We are going to rebuild the walls, we are going to reclaim the land and the people must be protected first and foremost,” he said.

Luhansk is one of two regions that form Donbass, the eastern part of Ukraine where the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists began in 2014. The region has become the centerpiece of ambition Putin’s military in Ukraine after his troops failed to take over. Kyiv earlier this year.

The fall of Lysychansk brings Russia closer to the goal of taking control of Donbass.

“After heavy fighting for Lysychansk, the Ukrainian Defense Forces were forced to withdraw from their occupied positions and lines,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said on Twitter on Sunday.

Accompanying the announcement, a photo read: “Lysychansk: We will be back.

A Ukrainian military Facebook post also cited Russian superiority in weapons, ammunition and personnel in the battle for the city.

“We continue the fight. Unfortunately, steely will and patriotism are not enough to succeed – material and technical resources are needed,” the message read.

Pro-Russian separatists in the region had previously claimed victory in the Battle of Lysychansk.

Leonid Pasechnik, the leader of the self-proclaimed Russian-backed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), has declared the Luhansk region “liberated”.

“Today is the day when we achieved what we have all been striving for for eight long years. Today our troops, with the support of the Russian Armed Forces, liberated the city of Lysychansk, thus completing the liberation of the Republic within its historical borders,” Pasechnik said.

Only Russia and Syria recognize the LPR as independent. Ukraine and its Western allies consider it part of Ukrainian territory, currently under Russian occupation.

A video shared by Russian news outlet Ria Novosti on Saturday claims to show residents installing the former Soviet Union flag at the Memorial to the Fallen in Lysychansk.

The Institute for the Study of War said Russia would likely establish control over the remaining territory of the Luhansk region in the coming days. After that, the institute said in its latest update, Russian troops are likely to concentrate on Ukrainian positions in Siversk, west of Lysychansk, before heading towards Sloviansk and Bakhmut.

The Donetsk region military administration said on Sunday that Russian forces were continuing to shell Sloviansk and Bakhmut.

At least six people died and 15 were injured on Sunday in Sloviansk, according to Tetiana Tiurina, head of the Department of Public Information and Communication of the Donetsk region.

The city of Kramatorsk was also hit by three missile strikes on Sunday morning, but there were no casualties, according to Ukraine’s regional military administration in Donetsk.

Zelensky said towns in the Lugansk region were the “epicentre” of hostilities. In his Saturday night address, Zelensky acknowledged that more than 2,600 Ukrainian cities were under Russian control.

“The Russian military continued to fire missiles at our cities,” Zelensky said, urging people to “help the army, help the volunteers, help anyone who was left alone at that time” and use their contacts to “spread the truth about the war”. and on the crimes of the occupants of our land.

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Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces said they had destroyed a Russian military base in the occupied southern Ukrainian city of Melitopol early Sunday morning, the city’s exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov said in an address. video.

Melitopol fell under Russian control in early March, weeks after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine.

According to Fedorov, Ukrainian troops fired “more than 30 shots exclusively at the military base”, rendering it “unable to function”.

“Now the whole city is covered with smoke. It has been going on for three to four hours. Warehouses on the territory of the transport aviation base are burning,” Fedorov added.

The head of the council installed by Russia in the Zaporizhzhia region, Evgeny Balitsky, said in a Telegram article on Sunday that “shells fell on the territory of the airfield” and that “there was no of victims”.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti also confirmed the attack, reporting that Ukraine struck the Aviagorodok neighborhood in Melitopol, but did not specify what was targeted.

Russia and Belarus call for Ukrainian strikes against their territory

The Russian Defense Ministry also claimed on Sunday that the Ukrainian army launched “a deliberate strike” on residential areas in the Russian cities of Belgorod and Kursk.

Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement that Ukrainian forces had targeted cities with Tochka-U ballistic missiles along with cluster munitions and drones.

He said three ballistic missiles launched at Belgorod were destroyed by Russian air defense systems in the air, adding that the wreckage of one of the missiles fell on a residential building in the city.

Konashenkov also claimed that Russian air defense systems destroyed two Ukrainian military drones as they approached the city of Kursk, about 130 km (80 miles) north of Belgorod.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm these claims and the Ukrainian military has yet to comment on the strikes.

Belgorod Region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a statement on his Telegram channel that at least three people were killed and dozens of residential buildings were damaged by blasts early Sunday morning.

Separately, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Saturday accused Ukraine of launching a missile attack against military installations in his country two days earlier.

In comments posted on the presidential website on Saturday, Lukashenko said Belarusian forces intercepted the missiles. However, he provided no evidence of the alleged attack from Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment on Lukashenko’s claims.

Lukashenko, Putin’s main ally in the region, said his country was embroiled in a war with Ukraine and claimed that “not a single Belarusian soldier is fighting on the territory of Ukraine”.

Russian troops launched the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine from Belarus after months of gathering manpower and supplies along the Ukrainian border.

According to intelligence gathered by NATO surveillance planes and CNN reports, Belarusian support for the Russian invasion includes air operations, in addition to ground support.

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