Ukraine announced yesterday the withdrawal of its forces from the city of Lisichansk, Kiev’s last stronghold in the eastern region of Lugansk, shortly after Moscow announced the occupation of that location.
“After intense fighting over Lisichansk, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were forced to withdraw from their occupied positions and lines,” the Armed Forces General Staff said on its Facebook account.
According to the statement, the continuation of the fighting for the defense of the city would have “fatal consequences”, given the marked superiority of the occupying forces, whether in terms of artillery, air assets, missile launch systems, ammunition and personnel.
“To preserve the lives of the Ukrainian defenders, the decision was taken to withdraw,” he added.
The “will and patriotism are not enough for success” in the fight with the Russian army, being necessary “material and technical resources”, stressed the General Staff of the Armed Forces, in an indirect appeal to the West to accelerate the supply of weapons to Kiev. .
At a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had rejected the idea that Lisichansk was under Russian control, assuring that fighting continued on the outskirts of the city, even after Moscow announced today the capture of the city.
However, in the same statement, Zelensky admitted that there were serious risks of the Lugansk region being completely controlled by Russian forces and that Lisichansk was the “weak point” of the Ukrainian defense.
By occupying Lisichansk, in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin takes control of the entire Lugansk region, and fighting is expected to intensify near the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, two important Ukrainian-controlled locations in the industrial area of Donbass (eastern Ukraine). ).
Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that has killed more than 4,000 civilians, according to the UN, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.
The military offensive has also caused more than 16 million people to flee their homes – more than eight million internally displaced people and more than eight million to neighboring countries – according to UN data, which classifies this refugee crisis. as the worst in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).
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