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Russia says it has taken Luhansk, key city in eastern Ukraine

Moradores observam edifícios destruídos em Lysychansk após intensos combates na área de Luhansk, em 18 de junho
Residents look at destroyed buildings in Lysychansk after intense fighting in the area of Luhansk, on 07 June | Photo: EFE/EPA/OLEKSANDR RATUSHNIAK

Russia claimed to have taken control of the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine on Sunday (3) , with the capture of Lysychansk, the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance in the region. Ukraine does not confirm the city’s fall, which would bring Moscow closer to its goal of taking the entire Donbass region.

With the supposed victory, Russia would shift the focus of the battle to the neighboring region of Donetsk, with substantial territory still controlled by Ukraine.

Adviser to Ukraine’s Defense Minister Yuriy Sak told Reuters news agency that “no can confirm that Lysychansk is under full Russian control”. Ukrainian authorities claim that the supposed “liberation” of the territory is part of the well-known Russian war propaganda, reporting intense artillery barrages in residential areas.

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Moscow also accuses Ukraine of attacking Russia’s Belgorod region, claiming that four people were killed on Sunday by fragments of an intercepted Ukrainian missile. Ukraine has not yet commented on the episode.

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