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Ukrainian forces withdraw from Lysychansk; Kyiv says Donbas battle not over

Russian attacks have devastated Lysychansk and forced Ukrainian forces to withdraw.

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Ukrainian forces on Sunday announced their withdrawal from the eastern city of Lysychansk — their final foothold in the Luhansk region — in a crucial loss that gives Moscow access to capture much of the rest of eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military said continued defense of the city would have fatal consequences, given the Russian troops’ “advantage” in “artillery, aviation, ammunition and personnel.” President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed in his nightly address that Ukraine would return to Lysychansk.

Moscow announced earlier in the day that Russian forces had captured Lysychansk and, therefore, “completely liberated” Luhansk. Ukrainian officials, however, said the battle for the broader Donbas region of eastern Ukraine was not over yet.

Here’s what else to know

  • Russia on Sunday shelled several cities in the Donetsk region, which neighbors Luhansk. In the town of Slovyansk, six people were killed and 20 wounded, officials said.
  • Ukrainian officials are expected to present recovery plans at the two-day Ukraine Recovery Conference beginning Monday in Lugano, Switzerland. Zelensky called his country’s reconstruction “the largest economic project of our time in Europe.”
  • Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday expressed shock at the destruction in Ukraine during his first visit to the country. He was taken to Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin, where Russian forces were accused of deliberately killing civilians and other war crimes.
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