Slovyansk, Ukraine (AP) —Russian troops were the last of Ukraine's resistance in the eastern provinces on Thursday as the funeral was to take place. For those killed by a Russian strike at a shopping mall in Central Ukraine earlier this week who fought to surround the breakwater.
Moscow's move to control the entire Donbas region from Ukraine focuses on Lysychans'k, the last remaining Ukrainian base in Luhansk Oblast. Russian troops and their separatist allies control 95% of Luhansk and about half of Donetsk. Donetsk is the two states that make up the most Russian-speaking Donbas.
The Ukrainian Army General Staff said Russian troops had bombarded Lysychans'k and clashed with Ukrainian defenders around an oil refinery on the edge of the city.
Governor Serhiy Haidai of Luhansk said Russian reconnaissance forces tried to enter Lysychansik on Wednesday but were repulsed by Ukrainian troops. He said the Russians were blocking the highways used to deliver supplies and trying to completely surround the city.
"Russians have put virtually all their efforts into occupying the city," Haidai said.
Regarding his visit to Turkmenistan early Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his goals in Ukraine have not changed since the beginning of the war. He said they were "the liberation of Donbus, the protection of these people, and the creation of conditions that would guarantee the security of Russia itself." He made no mention of his original goals of "demilitarizing" and "de-nazing" Ukraine.
He denied that Russia had adjusted its strategy after failing to seize Kyiv in the early stages of the conflict. "As you can see, the troops are moving and have reached the marks set at certain stages of this combat effort. President Putin said at a press conference in Turkmenistan.
Meanwhile. A funeral was to be held on Thursday for some of the 18 people confirmed killed by a Russian missile strike on Monday at Putinchug's bustling shopping mall. The crew was missing. Looking for another 20 people to remain, he continued to look in the rubble. He said he had found eight fragments of the body. It was not immediately clear whether that meant more victims. Many survivors suffered from limb amputation.
After the attack on Mole, Ukrainian President Vladimir Putinsky accused Russia of becoming a "terrorist" nation. On Wednesday, he accused NATO of not accepting or equipping his embarrassed country more completely.
"NATO's open door policy shouldn't resemble the old ticket gates of Kyiv's subway. It stays open until you pay, but closes when you get closer," Zelensky said in Madrid. He told the NATO leaders' meeting in a video link. .. "Ukraine isn't paying enough? Wasn't our contribution to protecting Europe and civilization as a whole?"
He has a more modern artillery system and other He sought weapons and warned NATO leaders that they needed to provide Ukraine with the support they needed to defeat Russia or "face the delay in the war between Russia and yourself."
In southern Ukraine, the death toll from a Russian missile strike on Wednesday at Mykolaiv's apartment has risen to six, Governor Vitaliy Kim said. Six more were injured. Mykolaiv is a major port and its occupation, and further west of Odesa, will be key to Russia's purpose to separate Ukraine from the Black Sea coast.
Follow AP's coverage of the war athttps://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine.