Militias and Russians advance to last Ukrainian bastion in Lugansk

The militias of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic announced this Saturday (25) that, together with Russian troops, they entered Lisichansk, the last bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the Lugansk region. There is fighting inside the city.

Also this Saturday, the Russians took full control of the city of Severodonetsk, in the same region, separated only by a river from Lisichansk. The information was confirmed by the mayor of Severodonetsk, Oleksandr Striuk, who announced the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the city. Severodonetsk has been the scene of intense fighting over the last few weeks.

The fall of Severodonetsk and the eventual capture of Lisichansk will allow the Kremlin to claim that it has occupied the entire Lugansk region, and has fulfilled its objective of “liberating” the entire Donbas, also integrated by neighboring Donetsk. The conquest is seen as an essential step in the Russian project to dominate eastern Ukraine.

“People’s militia and allied forces of the Russian Federation have entered the city of Lisichansk. The fighting takes place in the area urban”, pointed out Andrey Marochko, lieutenant colonel of the Lugansk forces, quoted by the Russian news agency TASS.

Since yesterday, troops have been mobilized Ukrainians to the region. Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar made an appeal this Saturday on Facebook not to mention the country’s troop movements, as this jeopardizes the progress of military operations, “as happened yesterday in Severodonetsk”.

However, the Ukrainian authorities maintain that the advances of Russian troops in the east of the country will not represent a major change in the course of the war.

The military command of Kiev, in turn, he considers that the military aid offered in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions managed to wear down the Russian army and allowed time for Ukraine to receive heavy weapons from the West.

According to the advisor of Ukraine’s presidential office, Mikhail Podoliak, Russia has changed its initial strategy and is now betting on a long war, relying on the quantitative superiority of the arsenal it has.

“The next three months will be extremely difficult. But, we are prepared to fight any n level of intensity”, said the representative of the Ukrainian government, in an interview with the YouTube channel “Populiarnaya Politika”.

Podoliak assured that Kiev will only negotiate a peace plan with Russia “from positions of strength “, that is, when the situation on the battlefront is favoring Ukraine.

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