Pro-Russian rebels claim encirclement of key city, Ukraine denies

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Fighting rages for the strategic Ukrainian city of Lysychansk as kyiv rejects a claim by Moscow-backed separatists that they surrounded the eastern city on the 129th day of the armed conflict.

More than 4,700 civilians have been killed in Ukraine, while more than 14 million have been forced from their homes, including more than 7.7 million people who have fled to other countries. (AFP)

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Moscow-backed separatists claim to ‘surround’ key city, Ukraine denies

kyiv has denied a claim by Moscow-backed separatists that they surrounded an eastern city. Clashes were intense in Lysychansk, the last major city in the Luhansk region of Donbass still in Ukrainian hands, located across the river from the neighboring town of Sievierodonetsk seized by Russia last week.

Its capture would allow Russian forces to penetrate deeper into the Donbass region, which has become the focus of their offensive since their failure to capture kyiv. “… The city has not been surrounded and is under the control of the Ukrainian army,” Ruslan Muzytchuk, spokesman for the National Guard of Ukraine, told Ukrainian television.

Earlier in the day, Andrei Marochko, spokesman for the separatist forces, told TASS news agency: “Lysychansk is completely surrounded.” The announcements come as missiles continue to rain down on Ukraine, killing dozens of people.

Lukashenko says Belarus intercepted Ukraine’s missile strike attempts

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed that Ukraine tried to strike military installations on Belarusian territory three days ago, but all of its missiles were intercepted, the official Belta news agency reported.

Lukashenko, who did not provide evidence to support the claim, said on Saturday that Belarus did not want war with Ukraine but would fight if its own territory was invaded. He also accused kyiv of “provoking us”. The Ukrainian military did not immediately comment.

Lukashenko said no Belarusian troops were fighting in what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine. Belarus is a close ally of Russia and allowed Moscow to use Belarusian territory to send troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Russia hits Ukrainian military sites in Donbass and Mykolaiv

Russian forces destroyed five Ukrainian army command posts in the Donbass and Mykolaiv regions with high-precision weapons and also hit three storage sites in the Zaporizhzhia region, the Defense Ministry said .

The ministry, quoted by Russian news agencies, also said the Russian Air Force struck a Ukrainian weapons and equipment base at a tractor factory in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine. ‘Ukraine.

Ukrainian Zelenskyy accuses Russia of ‘terror’ as missiles rain down

Missiles rained down on Ukraine killing scores of civilians and injuring dozens in settlements early in the weekend, prompting President Volodymyr Zelensky to accuse Russia of “state terror”.

Strikes on a southern resort town have left 21 dead and dozens injured after missiles hit apartments and a recreation center in Sergiyvka, 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Odessa’s sea port Black.

Rockets hit residential properties in Solvyansk, in the heart of the besieged Donbass region, killing a woman in her garden and injuring her husband, a neighbor told AFP news agency, describing debris that poured into the neighborhood.

Russians rush assault on town in eastern Ukraine

Russian forces are shelling the town of Lysychansk and its surroundings in an all-out attempt to seize the last stronghold of resistance in Luhansk province in eastern Ukraine, the governor said.

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city and prevent it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces had taken control of an oil refinery on the outskirts of Lysychansk in recent days, but Luhansk Governor Sergei Gaidai reported on Friday that fighting for the facility is escalating. were continuing.

“Over the past day, the occupiers have opened fire with every type of weapon available,” Gaidai said on the Telegram messaging app.

A senior Russian general inspects the troops involved in the operation in Ukraine

Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov inspected divisions of Russian troops involved in Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, the Defense Ministry said.

The ministry released still photographs of Gerasimov at work. It was not immediately clear when the visit took place or whether Gerasimov had traveled to Ukraine itself.

The ministry issued a similar statement last week regarding Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

France and the United Kingdom pledge to support Ukraine

The UK and France have pledged to support Ukraine in its war for freedom, according to a statement from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna in Paris to discuss the need for continued engagement and cooperation between the two countries.

The pair agreed to maintain strong ties in light of a global situation dominated by Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as high inflation, trade and supply chain challenges caused by the global pandemic and Brexit.

Strong ‘explosions’ rock the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine

Powerful explosions were heard in the early hours of the day in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said in a post on social media.

“There are powerful explosions in the city! Stay in the shelters!” Senkevich wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosions. Reuters could not independently verify the report. Air raid sirens sounded throughout the Mykolaiv region ahead of the explosions.

For live updates from Friday (July 1), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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