As the fighting in Ukraine continues, Russia claimed Saturday that its military had captured a key city in the East.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the city of Lyman – which serves as a regional railway hub – had been “completely liberated.”
However, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar said the battle continued, according to the ZN.ua website.
This comes as Ukraine’s police said Saturday that the area around Sievierodonetsk – the largest Donbas city still held by Ukraine – is under “constant enemy fire” and that civilians there were wounded.
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On Tuesday, Russian forces seized Svitlodarsk, a municipality south of the city.
The governor of Luhansk province said that Ukraine’s soldiers may need to retreat from Sievierodonetsk, fearing that residents there would experience a repeat of Mariupol.
Sievierodonetsk’s mayor, Oleksandr Striuk, told The Associated Press on Friday that about 12,000 to 13,000 people remain there, where 90% of the buildings are damaged.
“If the occupiers think that Lyman or Sievierodonetsk will be theirs, they are wrong. Donbas will be Ukrainian,” Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces said Saturday that Ukrainian troops had repelled eight attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk over the past 24 hours.
Zelenskyy and officials have called on western allies to provide more powerful weapons.
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This comes after Russia’s Defense Ministry said the nation’s navy had successfully launched a new hypersonic missile from the Barents Sea.
The missile has previously been touted as a major breakthrough in weapons development.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned, in a Friday interview with RT Arabic, that providing rockets to Ukraine that could reach Russia would be a “most serious step toward unacceptable escalation.”
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), more than 4,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and more than 4,700 have been injured.
This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of “sabotaging” negotiations between the two countries.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Friday that while Ukraine was not eager to have a dialogue with Putin, he understood communication will be necessary to end the war.
“There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I’m not telling you that to me our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the realities of what we are living through,” he said.
Fox News’ Timothy Nerozzi, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(This story has not been created/edited by Unicaus and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)