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UK Says Capturing Lysychansk Gives Russia Boost In Its Aim Of Controlling Whole Of Donbass

On July 5, the United Kingdom claimed that Russia's capture of Lysychansk gives Moscow a significant boost in its goal of 'liberating' Donbass.


Image: AP

On July 5, the United Kingdom claimed that Russia's capture of Lysychansk gives Moscow a significant boost in its goal of 'liberating' Donbass. According to the UK Ministry of Defence's latest update, Russia has expanded its control over "virtually all of the territory of Luhansk" as a result of its relatively "rapid capture" of the city of Lysychansk.

Russia has likely achieved "reasonably effective" coordination between at least two of its units, unlike in earlier stages of the conflict. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are likely to have withdrawn in "good order" under existing plans. The report says, "Russia’s relatively rapid capture of Lysychansk extends its control across virtually all of the territory of Luhansk Oblast, allowing it to claim substantive progress against the policy objective it presented as the immediate purpose of the war, namely ‘liberating’ the Donbass."

According to the update, there is a real possibility that Ukrainian forces will now be able to retreat to a more easily defendable, straightened front line. The update further added that the battle for the Donbass has been marked by slow rates of advance and Russia's massed use of artillery. The fighting in Donetsk will almost certainly continue in this manner, according to the report.


Russia-Ukraine War

Following Russian President Vladimir Putin's declaration of victory in the neighbouring province of Luhansk as the five-month-long conflict entered a new phase, Russian forces turned their attention to their next targets in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk province. Taking Lysychansk on July 3 brought the Russian conquest of Luhansk, one of two regions in the industrialised eastern region of Ukraine known as Donbass, to a close. Donbass is now the scene of the largest battle in Europe in generations.

Heavy casualties have been suffered by both sides in the battle for Luhansk, especially during the siege of the twin cities of Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. The relentless Russian bombardment has left both cities in ruins. While Putin commanded his troops to "absolutely rest and recover their military preparedness," units in other areas continued to fight. On July 5, Ukrainian forces established new defensive positions in Donetsk, where they still maintain control of major cities.

Image: AP

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