Updated Jul 3, 2022 - World

Russia captures key city, edging closer to control of the Donbas

Plumbs of smoke are seen rising to the sky during heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces with Russian troops in Lysychansk,
Plumbs of smoke are seen rising to the sky during heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces with Russian troops in Lysychansk, Ukraine, on July 1. Photo: Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russian forces on Sunday captured Lysychansk, the last city in the Luhansk region of the Donbas that was still under Ukrainian control.

Driving the news: Ukraine's Centre for Strategic Communications and Information Security confirmed the news in a tweet later Sunday, noting that the armed force's General Staff had announced that "after heavy fighting" Ukraine's military forces had been forced to retreat from the city.

  • Earlier Sunday, the Luhansk region's governor, Serhiy Haidai, had disputed the claims of Russian capture in a Telegram post but acknowledged that enemy forces were "entrenched" near the city, which was "on fire."
  • "They attacked the city with inexplicably brutal tactics," Haidai wrote of the Russian forces.
  • "They are suffering significant losses, but they are stubbornly advancing."

The big picture: Lysychansk has endured weeks of heavy Russian shelling as Russian forces have fought to capture it in a bid to take control of the entirety of Ukraine's eastern region of Luhansk, which borders Russia.

  • In claiming to have fully captured the city on Sunday, Russian forces claimed they had “completely liberated” the region, per the Washington Post.

Go deeper: Dashboard: Russian invasion of Ukraine

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details.

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