Day 122 of the Invasion of Ukraine: All of Luhansk under Russian Control except Lysychansk
Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:
Ukrainian forces withdraw from Sievierodonetsk
Ukrainian forces have begun withdrawing from Sievierodonetsk, the last major bastion of Ukrainian resistance in the Luhansk region. This happened four months after the beginning of the Russian invasion.
Ukrainian forces have been ordered to withdraw from the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, as there is no point in defending fragmented positions because it leads to new casualties every day, Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai said.
The entire infrastructure of Sievierodonetsk has been destroyed, 90% of the homes have been damaged in the shelling, 80% of them have been irreparably destroyed. Hundreds of civilians are believed to remain in the city, many of whom have taken refuge in the “Azot” chemical plant.
With the fall of Sievierodonetsk, the entire Luhansk region remains under Russian control, with the exception of the city of Lysychansk, which local authorities say will be very difficult for the Russians to take because it has serious defensive positions.
More weapons received by the Ukrainians
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced that in the last month and a half the country has received about 200 units of 155-millimeter guns according to NATO standards.
According to Reznikov, these weapons are more accurate and effective, and their presence changes the "picture of hostilities."
Ukraine gets the green light for the EU
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the decision of his country and Moldova to receive the status of candidates for EU membership.
According to Zelensky, the decision is the most serious step to strengthen Europe in the face of Russian aggression.
“It was recognized today that Ukraine is not a bridge, not a ‘cushion’ between the West and Russia, not a ‘buffer’ between Europe and Asia, not a zone of influence, nor a gray or transit territory. It is not the border between the orcs and the elves. Ukraine is a future equal partner of at least 27 European countries”.
Russia, for its part, has said the decision by European leaders will have negative consequences.
According to the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, this is another move to "limit Russia" in geopolitical terms.
Belgorod region threatened by "terrorist threat" from Ukraine
"Yesterday the next phase of the ‘yellow’ level of danger of terrorism ended. I made the decision and extended it until July 9. I want to thank all law enforcement agencies for their professionalism, for ensuring the safety of the citizens of Belgorod at this difficult time.” said the governor of the district Vyacheslav Gladkov in Telegram.
On April 11, a yellow (high) level of terrorist threat was introduced in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine. It has been extended several times. Multiple cases of shelling of border areas by Ukraine have been registered in the region, as a result of which three people were killed and more than 300 houses were damaged.
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