Russia says its forces have full control of Ukraine’s Luhansk region

Kiev – Russia announced on Sunday that it had seized complete control of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk after seizing the final Ukrainian bastion in the city of Lysychansk, from which Kiev had retreated to save the lives of its troops.

The capture of the region, a key Russian military objective, gives Moscow a boost after weeks of sluggish advances and shifts the battlefield’s focus to the neighboring Donetsk region, where Kiev still controls substantial territory.

Since abandoning an assault on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in 2014, Russia has focused its military operations on the industrial heartland of the Donbas, which consists of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where separatist proxies backed by Moscow have been fighting Ukraine since 2014.

Russia claims it is capturing the Luhansk region to give it to the Luhansk People’s Republic, whose independence it recognized on the eve of the conflict.

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