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Russia claims jurisdiction of pivotal eastern Ukrainian city

Russia claims jurisdiction of pivotal eastern Ukrainian city

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia claimed jurisdiction Sunday over the last Ukrainian stronghold inside an eastern province that is answer to achieving a greatest goal of its grinding war.

Ukraine's General Staff of the military reported that its forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk inside Luhansk province, nevertheless the president said the fight for the city was ongoing.

If confirmed, Russia's complete seizure of Luhansk would provide its forces a stronger base from which to press their go forward inside neighboring Donetsk province with every one other accompanied by convey them one step closer to achieving one of President Vladimir Putin's greatest goals: capturing the entire Donbas.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that Russia's troops, accompanied by members of a local separatist militia, "have established filled jurisdiction over the city of Lysychansk" with every one other accompanied by now clasp all of Luhansk, according to a management dividing statement published Sunday.

As is representative accompanied by such descriptions, the Russian statement characterized the victories while "the liberation of the Luhansk People's Republic." Separatists inside Luhansk with every one other accompanied by Donetsk, which build up the Donbas with every one other accompanied by have significant Russian-speaking populations, declared self-government from Kyiv inside 2014, with every one other accompanied by Russia formally recognized their self-proclaimed republics days earlier to its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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Ukrainian with every one other accompanied by Russian forces have fought fiercely for Lysychansk inside recent days following neighboring Sievierodoentsk fell last week. On Sunday evening, the General Staff of Ukraine's military confirmed on communal media that its forces had withdrawn from Lysychansk "to conserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders."

Earlier, however, Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy said Kyiv's forces were still battling Russian soldiers on the city's outskirts "in a extremely difficult with every one other accompanied by dangerous situation."

"We cannot present with you the final judgment. Lysychansk is still actuality fought for," Zelenskyy told a report conference inside Kyiv, while noting that territory tin go fast from one side to the other.

Russian forces carry on accompanied by an advantage inside the area, he acknowledged, calling it a Ukrainian military "weak spot."

The capture of Lysychansk would present with the Russians additional territory from which to intensify attacks on Donetsk while they operate their military operation inside the Donbas, a neighbourhood of mines with every one other accompanied by factories where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces since 2014.

If Russia prevails inside the Donbas, Ukraine would mislay not only land nevertheless maybe the bulk of its most competent military forces, opening the way for Moscow to seize additional territory with every one other accompanied by build strong its ability to dictate terms to Kyiv.

Already, Russian forces have concentrated rocket attacks on the sizable Ukrainian-held city of Slovyansk inside Donetsk. New attacks were reported inside the city Sunday. At least sextet people were killed, geographical management spokeswoman Tatyana Ignatchenko told Ukrainian TV.

Kramatorsk, another greatest city inside the Donetsk region, too came under fire, the geographical management said.

Far from the fighting inside the east, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday visited a town near the first city that was severely damaged early inside the war. Albanese called the demolition inside Irpin "devastating."

"These are homes with every one other accompanied by these are livelihoods with every one other accompanied by indeed lives that have been lost here inside this town," he said.

Elsewhere, the exiled mayor of the Russia-occupied city of Melitopol said Sunday that Ukrainian rockets destroyed one of quartet Russian military bases inside the city.

Attacks were too reported inside Russia, inside a revival of sporadic evident Ukrainian strikes across the border. The manager of the Belgorod neighbourhood inside Western Russia said fragments of an intercepted Ukrainian missile killed quartet people Sunday. In the Russian city of Kursk, set of two Ukrainian drones were report down, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Kursk geographical manager Roman Starovoit said the town of Tetkino, on the Ukraine border, came under mortar fire.

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Ebel reported from Prokovsk, Ukraine. Associated Press journalist Maria Grazia Murru contributed from Kyiv.

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Follow AP's coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Russia claims jurisdiction of pivotal eastern Ukrainian city

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