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In a major breakthrough, Russian claims full control of Lugansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine

Moscow said on Sunday that the territory of Lugansk People's Republic in the Donbas region has been completely "liberated" from the Ukrainian forces (File image)

The Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday that as a result of its successful offensive operations in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), the Ukrainian command has suffered significant losses "in all directions" in eastern Ukraine.

The statement came a day after Moscow announced that the LPR territory in the Donbas region has been completely "liberated" from the Ukrainian forces.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Sunday met country's President Vladimir Putin  to brief him about the ongoing 'special military operation' in Ukraine. 

He told Putin that the Russian armed forces and units of the People's Militia of the LPR have established full control over the city of Lisichansk and a number of nearby settlements, the largest of which are Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantsevo and Belaya Gora.

"The total area of the territories liberated till Saturday amounted to 182 square kilometers," said the Russian Defence Ministry in a statement.

Ukraine

Today, the Russian military said that Kyiv has lost control of the retreating units of the 10th mountain assault, 72nd and 115th mechanized brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as the 118th territorial defence brigade.

Russia stated that in total, since February 24 – the beginning of the military operation – as many as 230 aircraft, 134 helicopters, 1,448 unmanned aerial vehicles, 353 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,904 tanks and other armoured combat vehicles, 706 multiple rocket launcher combat vehicles, 3,084 field artillery guns and mortars, as well as 4002 units of special military vehicles from Ukraine have been destroyed.

Ukraine, on the other hand, said that it pulled out troops from Lisichansk to save the lives of servicemen.

"After heavy fighting for Lisichansk, the defence forces of Ukraine were forced to withdraw from their positions and lines. In the conditions of the multiple superiority of the Russian occupying forces in artillery, aviation, multiple launch rocket systems, ammunition and personnel, the continuation of the city’s defence would have led to fatal consequences. To preserve the lives of Ukrainian defenders, it was decided to leave," the General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency Tass today.

As reported by IndiaNarrative.com on Saturday, LPR's Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik had already announced that the territory of Ukraine's biggest oil refinery – the Lisichansk oil refinery – has been taken under control of "union forces" and half of the city was under their control last week.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, besides the Lisichansk oil refinery, the Russian military has also taken control of the Matrosskaya mine, the Gelatin plant and the settlement of Topolovka.

Also Read: Russian forces continue their advance after taking over Ukraine's biggest oil refinery