The following are the latest developments in the Ukraine crisis:
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has informed President Vladimir Putin of the control of Lugansk, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.
The region has been “liberated” after Russian troops and the armed forces of Lugansk took full control of Lysychansk, a key city of Lugansk, and its nearby settlements, according to a brief statement by the ministry.
Shoigu told Putin that the total area of territories taken over the past day amounted to 182 square km, it added.
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An official of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry on Sunday denied reports that Lysychansk has been under the full control of Russian armed forces, the government-run Ukrinform news agency reported.
Yuriy Sak, adviser to Defense Minister Olexiy Reznikov, told BBC that the situation in Lysychansk has been “very tense for quite a long time,” and Russian troops have been “constantly attacking the city.”
Even if Russian forces were to seize the entire Lugansk region, the battle for Donbass, which comprises the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, will continue as Ukrainian forces control much of the Donetsk region, Sak said, noting that several other large towns in Donetsk remained under Kiev’s control.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday held a meeting with visiting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to discuss security cooperation, the presidential press service reported.
During the talks, Zelensky informed Albanese of the situation on the frontline in Ukraine, while the Australian prime minister announced more military-technical assistance to Ukraine, the report said.
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The Russian Defense Ministry said Sunday that Ukraine has launched an attack by Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster munitions and Tu-143 Reys unmanned aerial vehicles on the residential areas in the southern cities of Belgorod and Kursk.
The Russian air defense has destroyed all the three missiles, the ministry said, adding that fragments of one of the destroyed missiles fell down on a residential building in Belgorod.