Ukraine announces retreat from Lysychansk
The Ukrainian armed forces announce that they have fully withdrawn from the city of Lysychansk following weeks of heavy fighting.
The Ukrainian armed forces have retreated from the eastern strategic city of Lysychansk, Kiev said on Sunday, following weeks of fierce fighting with the Russian and the allied LPR forces over the city.
"After heavy fighting for Lysychansk, the defense forces of Ukraine were forced to withdraw from their occupied positions and lines," the Ukrainian army general staff said.
"In order to preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, a decision was made to withdraw," the army said in a statement, pointing to Russia having superiority in numbers and equipment.
Earlier, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow's forces had captured Lysychansk and taken full control of the Lugansk region.
Ukrainian officials had been unusually quiet on Sunday regarding the status of the fighting within the city. This could be explained by Kiev's "operational security" reasons, as the forces would not want to make public any tactical retreat. However, Lysyschansk still constitutes a major loss on Ukraine's eastern front.
The allied Russian and LPR forces have taken the city of Lysychansk, and they now had full control of the strategic city, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Saturday.
LISICHANSK HAS BEEN LIBERATED pic.twitter.com/xTTuGK8o6f— Levi (@Levi_godman) July 2, 2022
As they were leaving the city, the Ukrainian militants who had just lost their last stronghold in the Lugansk People's Republic blew up and destroyed some of the important administrative buildings, including the mayor's office, the Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.
Having control of the LPR allows Moscow and its allied LPR forces to push deeper into the Donbass and control more of the region.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told reporters that three battalions stationed near Lysychansk lost over 50% of their troops in one day of combat.