Live updates of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis | Russian Defense Minister tells Putin that Ukraine’s Luhansk region has been ‘liberated’

Here are the latest developments in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict on July 3

Here are the latest developments in the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian conflict on July 3

Russia’s defense minister said forces from Moscow had taken control of the last major Ukrainian city of Lysychansk. At least three people have been killed and dozens of homes damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border, the regional governor said on Sunday. Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported a number of explosions in the city of nearly 4,00,000. At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 houses were damaged, including five destroyed, Gladkov said on the app Telegram messaging.

Fighting raged in the strategic Ukrainian town of Lysychansk on Saturday, as Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said his army intercepted missiles fired into its territory by Kyiv forces. Ukraine has denied claims by Moscow-backed separatists who said they had surrounded Lysychansk, the last major city in the Lugansk region in the eastern Donbass region still in Kyiv’s hands.

Powerful explosions rocked the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv early on July 2, the mayor said, a day after authorities announced that at least 21 people had been killed when Russian missiles hit a building near the port of Odessa on the Black Sea. Air raid sirens sounded in the Mykolaiv region, which borders the vital port of Odessa, before the explosions.

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Here are the latest updates:

Germany

Germany discusses Ukraine’s security guarantees with allies – Scholz

Germany is discussing security guarantees for Ukraine with its allies, in preparation for some time after the war in Ukraine, German Chancellor Scholz told ARD television on Sunday.

“We are discussing with close friends the question of the security guarantees that we can give. This is an ongoing process. Clearly it won’t be the same as if someone were a member of NATO,” Scholz said.

“It is quite clear that this is a matter that is being carefully prepared in the diplomatic sphere, for the day we hope to see soon, when the war is over,” he added. Reuters

Ukraine

Australian Prime Minister visits Ukrainian Governor of Kyiv Region

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has visited three war-torn towns in Ukraine’s Kyiv region, the local governor announced on Sunday.

Governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on Telegram that Mr Albanese had visited the towns of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, where Ukraine claims Russia committed atrocities against civilians. Russia denies the allegations.

“Australia stands with Ukraine and wants justice for the crimes committed here,” Mr Kuleba quoted Mr Albanese as saying. PA

Russia

Russian Defense Minister tells Putin that Ukraine’s Luhansk region has been ‘liberated’

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has informed President Vladimir Putin that the entire Ukrainian region of Luhansk has been “liberated” by Russian and separatist forces, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

After being rebuffed in its initial attempt to seize the capital Kyiv, Russia has focused its efforts on expelling Ukrainian forces from the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia’s first military intervention. in Ukraine in 2014. — Reuters

Russia

Russian Defense Minister announces capture of Ukrainian town

Russia’s defense minister said forces from Moscow had taken control of the last major city under Ukrainian control in Ukraine’s Luhansk province.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Sunday that “as a result of successful military operations, the armed forces of the Russian Federation, as well as units of the People’s Militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic , established full control of the city of Lysychansk,” Russian news agencies reported.

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend Lysychansk and prevent it from falling to Russia, as its neighbor Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. A presidential adviser predicted on Saturday night that the city could be determined within days.- PA

Russia

Russia says its troops have surrounded the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk

Russian troops surrounded the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, Ukraine’s last major stronghold in the Lugansk region, CASS The news agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday.

Russia is focused on expelling Ukrainian forces from Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in the Donbass, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia’s first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.- Reuters

Ukraine

Russians set foot in a pivotal city in Ukraine

Russian forces are strengthening their positions in a fierce fight to seize the last stronghold of the resistance in Luhansk province in eastern Ukraine, the region’s governor said on Sunday.

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city of Lysychansk and prevent it from falling to Russia, as its neighbor Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. A presidential adviser predicted that his fate could be determined within days.

“The occupiers threw all their forces at Lysychansk. They attacked the city with tactics of incomprehensible cruelty,” Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said on the Telegram messaging app. .”- PA

Ukraine

No casualties in Ukraine strike on Melitopol, few houses damaged – local official

There were no casualties from the strikes by Ukrainian forces on Melitopol, a local official based in Moscow in the Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

“Shells fell on the territory of the airfield. There were no casualties,” wrote Evgeny Balitsky, head of the Russian-installed council in the Zaporizhzhia region.

He added that several private residential homes near the airfield had been damaged.- Reuters

Ukraine

Ukraine strikes Russian base in occupied Melitopol, exiled mayor says

Ukrainian forces hit a Russian base with more than 30 strikes in the Russian-occupied southern city of Melitopol on Sunday, the city’s Ukrainian mayor-in-exile said. A Russian official confirmed that strikes hit the town.

“At 3 a.m. (12:00 GMT) and 5 a.m. (02:00 GMT) there were more than 30 strikes exclusively on a military base,” said Melitopol Mayor Ivan Fedorov, who is currently in the controlled territory. Ukrainian, in a video. address on Telegram, adding that the base had been “decommissioned”.

Fedorov also said resistance activity derailed a Russian armored train carrying munitions near Melitopol on Saturday.

Russian news agency RIA reported that Ukraine struck the Aviamistechko area of ​​Melitopol where the city’s airport is located, but did not say what was hit. Reuters

Moscow

Lukashenko claims Ukraine fired missiles at Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday his army had shot down missiles fired into their territory from Ukraine and pledged to respond “instantly” to any enemy strikes.

“We are provoked,” said Mr Lukashenko, quoted by the official Belta news agency. “I have to tell you that about three days ago, maybe more, they tried to hit military targets in Belarus from Ukraine.

“Thank God our Pantsir anti-aircraft systems intercepted all missiles fired by Ukrainian forces.”

Ukraine said last week that missiles fired from Belarus hit a border region inside its territory. – AFP

Ukraine

Explosions kill three in Russian town near Ukrainian border

At least three people have been killed and dozens of homes damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukrainian border, the regional governor said on Sunday, as Kyiv acknowledged it could lose its last major stronghold in the east of Ukraine for the benefit of the Kremlin forces.

Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported a number of explosions in the city of nearly 4,00,000 people about 40 km (25 miles) north of the border with Ukraine.

At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 houses were damaged, including five destroyed, Gladkov said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russian lawmaker Andrei Klishas accused Ukraine of bombing Belgorod and called for a military response. – Reuters

TH explains

Explained | Is NATO stronger after the invasion of Ukraine?

NATO seemed weakened under the administration of former US President Donald Trump, who frequently threatened to exclude from the protective US umbrella any member state that did not pay enough for the privilege. Another blow, and blows for sloppy management, came when US President Joe Biden withdrew his country’s troops from Afghanistan, a NATO military mission, more or less unilaterally. Meanwhile, Russia has consistently raised the bar against NATO publicly, since the late 2000s, railing against NATO expansion, and since its annexation of Crimea in 2014, threatening further territorial expansion on Ukrainian territory.

Christi C. Elwood