- City was final Ukrainian stronghold in Luhansk area
- Russia says has “liberated” Luhansk area
- Zelenskiy vows to regain management with long-range weapons
- Blasts hit Russia’s Belgorod, southern Ukraine base -officials
KYIV, July 4 (Reuters) – Russian forces in Ukraine will concentrate on attempting to seize all of the Donetsk area, having compelled Ukrainian troops to withdraw from the final major metropolis below their management within the neighbouring Luhansk area, the governor of Luhansk stated on Monday.
After abandoning an assault on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, in the course of the early weeks of the war, Russia concentrated its army operation on the economic Donbas heartland that contains the Luhansk and Donetsk areas, the place Moscow-backed separatist proxies have been preventing Ukraine since 2014.
Russia stated it had established full management over the Luhansk area after Ukrainian forces pulled out of the bombed-out metropolis of Lysychansk. learn extra
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“In terms of the military, it is bad to leave positions, but there is nothing critical (in the loss of Lysychansk). We need to win the war, not the battle for Lysychansk,” Governor Serhiy Gaidai informed Reuters in an interview.
“It hurts a lot, but it’s not losing the war.”
He stated the withdrawal from Lysychansk had been “centralised”, indicating that it had been deliberate and orderly, however that Ukrainian forces had risked being surrounded.
“Still, for them (Russian forces) goal number 1 is the Donetsk region. Sloviansk and Bakhmut will come under attack – Bakhmut has already started being shelled very hard,” he stated.
Gaidai stated that he anticipated town of Sloviansk and the city of Bakhmut particularly to come below assault as Russia tries to take full management of the Donbas in jap Ukraine.
Moscow stated the seize of Lysychansk lower than every week after taking neighbouring Sievierdonetsk meant it had “liberated” Luhansk, a major Kremlin war objective.
Moscow stated it might give the captured territory to the self-proclaimed Russian-backed Luhansk People’s Republic whose independence it recognised on the eve of the war. learn extra
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday evening vowed to regain the misplaced territory with the assistance of long-range Western weapons.
Zelenskiy stated Russia was concentrating its firepower on the Donbas entrance, however Ukraine would hit again with long-range weapons such because the U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers.
“The fact that we protect the lives of our soldiers, our people, plays an equally important role. We will rebuild the walls, we will win back the land, and people must be protected above all else,” Zelenskiy stated in his nightly video deal with.
In Sloviansk, west of Lysychansk in Donetsk area, Mayor Vadym Lyakh wrote on Facebook that on Sunday fierce shelling had killed a minimum of six folks, together with a 10-year-old woman. learn extra
Thousands of civilians have been killed and cities levelled since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, with Kyiv accusing Moscow of intentionally focusing on civilians. Moscow denies this.
Russia says what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine goals to defend Russian audio system from nationalists. Ukraine and its Western allies say this can be a baseless pretext for flagrant aggression that goals to seize territory.
The Ukraine war has sparked a world power and meals disaster and Western-led sanctions in opposition to Moscow have triggered the worst financial disaster in Russia because the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.
Germany has warned of fuel shortages due to dwindling provides from Russia. The head of its power regulator stated the 15 billion euros’ ($15.64 billion) of authorities credit score to purchase fuel for storage is probably not sufficient, in accordance to an interview within the WirtschaftsWoche journal on Monday. learn extra
While Russia would attempt to body its advance in Luhansk as a big second within the war, it got here at a excessive value to Russia’s army, stated Neil Melvin of the London-based assume tank RUSI.
“Ukraine’s position was never that they could defend all of this. What they’ve been trying to do is to slow down the Russian assault and cause maximum damage, while they build up for a counteroffensive,” he stated.
Ukraine has repeatedly appealed for an acceleration in weapons provides from the West, saying its forces are closely outgunned.
STRIKES ON KHARKIV
Zelenskiy’s workplace stated Russian artillery strikes hit residential and farm buildings within the Kharkiv area.
Russia’s defence ministry additionally stated on Sunday it had struck the army infrastructure of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis within the northeast, the place a Reuters reporter stated Ukrainian forces had been constructing fortifications after nightly shelling.
Outside a college in Kharkiv, some residents threw particles into a big crater created by an early morning rocket strike whereas others received assist repairing broken homes.
“The wife was lucky that she woke up early in the morning because the roof fell exactly where she had been sleeping,” one resident, Oleksii Mihulin, informed Reuters.
About 70 km (44 miles) from Kharkiv on the Russian aspect of the border, Russia additionally reported explosions on Sunday in Belgorod, which it stated killed a minimum of three folks and destroyed houses. learn extra
“The sound was so strong that I jumped up, I woke up, got very scared and started screaming,” a Belgorod resident informed Reuters, including the blasts occurred round 3 a.m. (0000 GMT).
Moscow has accused Kyiv of quite a few assaults on Belgorod and different areas bordering Ukraine. Kyiv has by no means claimed accountability for any of these incidents. learn extra
Ukraine stated its air power had flown some 15 sorties “in virtually all directions of hostilities”, destroying tools and two ammunition depots.
In the Russian-occupied southern Ukrainian metropolis of Melitopol, Ukrainian forces hit a army logistics base with greater than 30 strikes on Sunday, town’s exiled mayor Ivan Fedorov stated. A Russian-installed official confirmed that strikes had hit town. learn extra
Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the battlefield studies.
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Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.