Russia’s Defense Ministry has claimed its forces have taken control the entire region of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, the claim not being confirmed by Kyiv.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has told President Vladimir Putin that the entire region of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine has been taken by Russian and separatist forces after the city of Lysychansk fell to their offensive, the Russian news agency Interfax says.
Russian minister described the capture of Luhansk as a “liberation” from Kyiv’s rule.
Ukraine has so far not verified the Russian claim to have taken Lysychansk, which Ukrainian forces have fiercely defended in past weeks.
Russia has been focusing its efforts on driving Ukrainian forces out of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the Donbas since an initial attempt to take the capital Kyiv failed.
Since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine in year 2014, Pro-Moscow separatists have been fighting Ukrainian government troops there.