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Battle intensifies due to Ukraine's last fortress in Luhansk Oblast

Article authors:



Pavel Polityuk and Simon Lewis

A war crimes prosecutor (centre) and a rescuer (right) and a civilian look at a destroyed building after being hit by a missile strike in the Ukrainian town of Sergiyvka, near Odesa, Friday, July 1, 2022.
With the War Crimes Prosecutor (center) Rescue workers (right) and civilians see a destroyed building after a missile attack in the Ukrainian town of Sergifka near Odesa on Friday, July 1, 2022. Photo: OLEKSANDR GIMANOV / AFP /Getty Images

KYIV / KONSTYANTYNIVKA — Strategic Eastern Luhansk State A blast shook the southern city after civilian casualties from a Russian strike climbed into a town well behind the front lines as fighting intensified on Saturday for Lisichansk, Ukraine's last fort in.

A pro-Russian Luhansk People's Army officer, Andrey Marochiko, from the Russian TASS news agency, now has a red hammer and sickle flag in the Lysychansk administration building. However, Ukrainian troops rejected the claim that the city was surrounded.

Russian media showed a video of Ruhansk militia parading the city of Rissichansk waving a flag and cheering, but Ukrainian National Guard spokesman Ruslan Musicuchk told Ukrainian National Television about the city. Said it was still in the hands of Ukraine.

"Currently there is a fierce battle near Rishichansk, but fortunately the city is not surrounded and is under the control of Ukrainian troops," said Mujichuk.

He said the situation in the Lysychansk and Bakhmut areas, and the Kharkiv area is the most difficult on the whole front line.

"The enemy's goal here remains access to the administrative boundaries of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Also, in the direction of Sloviansk, the enemy is attempting an offensive action. "He said.

Oleksandr Senkevic, the mayor of the southern region of Mikolive, adjacent to Odesa's important Black Sea port, reported a powerful explosion in the city.

"Stay in the shelter." When the air raid siren rang, he wrote in a telegram messaging app.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear, but Russia later said it had struck a military command post in the area.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield report.

Ukrainian media argued that Vadym Denysenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior, surrounded Lysychansk, aimed at demoralizing Ukrainians and encouraging pro-Russian troops. He said he said it was a lie.

Kyiv states that Moscow intensified missile attacks on cities far from the main battlefields in the east and deliberately attacked civilian premises. Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops at the forefront of the east portray a fierce bombardment of a residential area.

Thousands of civilians have been killed and the city leveled since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th.

Valerie Gerasimov, General Manager of the Russian Army, visited the Russian Army involved in what Moscow calls a "special military operation," the Russian Defense Ministry said, but he said. It was not clear if he was in Ukraine. ..

Inspections followed a slow but steady increase by Russian troops with the help of relentless artillery in eastern Ukraine. resistance.

Russia and the industrialized East Donbus region of Luhansk, where Moscow-backed separatists have fought Kiif since Russia's first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014. Trying to expel Ukrainian troops from Doneck.

"No doubt they are going to demoralize us. Some may be affected, but for us it only brings more hatred and determination." , Said a Ukrainian soldier who returned from Rishichansk.

TASS said the last Ukrainian army in Rishichansk was under heavy attack, according to sources close to the Russian-backed army in Luhansk. "If they don't surrender, they will be defeated in the near future," sources said.

House "burns out"

Last month, Russian troops smashed the entire district into rubble, after some of the fiercest battles of the war, the sisters of Rissichansk. Seized the city Sievierodonetsk. Other settlements are facing similar bombings.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said in Telegram that the shootings stopped Lysychansk's inhabitants from extinguishing the fire, adding:

Ukraine demanded more weapons from the West, saying its troops were heavily defeated by Russian troops.

The troops taking a break from combat and conversation in Konstyantynivka, a market town about 115km (72 miles) west of Lysychansk, have so far managed to open a supply road to a confused city. Said left. Despite the Russian bombing.

"I'm still using the road because I need it, but it's within the range of Russian artillery," he says, usually living in Kive but not naming it. Said one soldier who asked. The companions relaxed nearby, munching on sandwiches and eating ice cream.

"The current Russian tactic is to shoot at the building where they are. When they destroy it, they move on to the next," the soldier said. rice field.

On Friday, a missile crashed into an apartment near Odessa, officials said at least 21 people were killed. A shopping mall was struck in the central city of Clementuk on Monday, killing at least 19 people.

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky accuses Friday's strike of "a conscious and deliberately targeted Russian terrorism, not some kind of error or accidental missile strike." did.

A Reuters reporter saw an unexploding missile falling to the ground on Saturday night in a residential area on the outskirts of Klamatorsk in the city of Donbus.

The missile fell into a wooded area between the skyscrapers of a house. Police and the army blocked an area a few meters around the missile and told spectators to stand behind. Early in the evening, gunfire and several major explosions were heard in the center of Klamatorsk.

Ukrainian troops have been abused in the east, but somewhere else, such as withdrawing Russia from Snake Island, the outburst of the Black Sea southeast of Odesa, captured by Moscow at the beginning of the war. Has made progress.

Russia used Snake Island to block Ukraine, one of the world's largest grain exporters and a major producer of vegetable oil seeds. The turmoil has helped fuel soaring global grain and food prices.

Russia, also a large grain producer, denied that it caused a food crisis and accused Western sanctions of damaging its exports.

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