Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russian troops and separatists had “complete control” of the city of Lysichansk in eastern Ukraine.
“Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu reports to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin Regarding the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR),” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a July 3 statement.
“Successful military operations, militia forces of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the LPR have taken full control of the city of Lysychansk and nearby settlements,” the statement read. “The total area of the territory liberated yesterday is 182 square kilometers.”
The Russian Ministry of Defense had previously announced that the Central Army, led by Colonel Alexander Lapin, took control of several settlements, and then marched towards the Seversky Donets River, in coordination with the Southern Army led by General Sergei Surovykin, and closed it down. The encirclement of Resichansk.
“The Legion Ukraine Completely isolated in this area. Thirty-eight Ukrainian soldiers in the area, mainly locals, were previously mobilized by the Ukrainian armed forces to surrender in the past 48 hours,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Ukraine did not comment on the information from the Russian Defense Ministry.
Lysychansk is the last major Ukrainian city in the eastern Luhansk province after withdrawing from the city of Seversky Donetsk across the Seversky Donets River. When Lysychansk fell, Russian troops and separatists took control of the entire Luhansk province.
Western experts say the Russian military is significantly improving its logistics and command capabilities and promoting electronic warfare systems to counteract most drone attacks in Ukraine.
The U.S.-based Institute for War Studies (ISW) said that if the operation were to scale up, Russia could reach the east bank of the Dnieper, essentially splitting Ukraine in two. This scenario is considered the worst for Ukraine, but also unlikely, as resources on both sides are rapidly depleting.
Nguyen Jin (follow TASS)