After Moscow’s forces took control of the important city of Lysychansk, President Vladimir Putin on Monday gave the order for his country’s military to continue their offensive into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
At a meeting, Sergei Shoigu, the Russian defence minister, informed Putin that Moscow’s forces now had total authority over the Lugansk region.
Putin instructed Shoigu that the forces stationed there must continue their activities, signalling that there would be no lull in the war and that Russia now had its sights set on the entire Donetsk region.
Putin stated that all military forces, including the East and West groups, had to carry out their missions in accordance with previously agreed plans.
“I hope that things will go on like it has in Lugansk so far in their direction.”
The Ukrainian army announced its withdrawal from Lysychansk on Sunday, saying it was doing so to protect the lives of its soldiers, who were outnumbered and outgunned by Russian forces.
In his nightly speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described Russia’s escalating onslaught as “the enemy continues to terrorise the border territories of the Sumy region, the city of Kharkiv, and the (Donbas) region.”
“We must disarm them. It will take a lot of time and superhuman effort to complete this challenging assignment. But there is no other option.
Ukraine announced on Monday that it would already cost $750 billion to rebuild the country, even though the war is well into its fifth month.
Denys Shmyhal, the prime minister of Russia, said the leaders of numerous nations gathered in Lugano, “The main source of recovery should be the confiscated assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs.”
Zelensky referred to the reconstruction of Ukraine as the “shared mission of the entire democratic world” and the “greatest contribution to the support of global peace” in a video message.
“Most contemporary weaponry”
Zelensky raised appeals for a greater influx of arms from the West in response to the weekend loss of Lysychansk so that Kyiv can maintain its resistance and retake lost territory.
Russia has concentrated its efforts on gaining control of the Donetsk and Lugansk districts, which make up the Donbas region, after giving up on its initial war goal of seizing Kyiv in the face of fierce Ukrainian resistance.
One week after the Ukrainian army withdrew from Severodonetsk, which is nearby, Moscow’s conquest of Lysychansk frees up Russian forces to push on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in Donetsk.
Sergiy Gayday, the governor of the Lugansk area, said on Telegram that violence continued in the settlement of Bilogorivka outside of Lysychansk.
He said, “We continue defending a tiny portion of the Lugansk region so that our forces might construct defensive redoubts.
Zelensky promised Kyiv would continue the struggle and make sure the military had “the most current weapons” in his speech late on Sunday.
“Ukraine will reach the level at which the invaders’ fire superiority will be levelled.”
After Russia withdrew from the strategically significant Ukrainian territory last week, the Ukrainian flag was raised on Snake Island, a rocky outcrop in the Black Sea.
There weren’t many people in Sloviansk, which is located approximately 75 kilometres (45 miles) west of Lysychansk, on Monday. This was the day after Russian strikes left at least six people dead, including a nine-year-old girl, and 19 others injured.
A few sellers supplied basic goods in the enormous downtown market that had been substantially destroyed by a fire brought on by a Russian strike as others removed charred debris.
Vendors and others who talked with AFP, some of whom were still in shock, expressed worry for the days and weeks to come as shelling sounds were once more audible.
Residents and a government source told AFP that Siversk, 30 kilometres to the west of Lysychansk, also saw bombardment overnight.
Zelensky, though, remained defiant in his speech on Sunday evening, promising that Ukrainian forces would “recover” ground in the Donbas just as they had done in other areas earlier in the conflict.
Leaders from numerous nations and international organisations gathered on Monday in Lugano, Switzerland, to discuss a plan for the rehabilitation of Ukraine.
Instead of holding a pledge conference, Lugano will try to outline the fundamentals and top priorities for a reconstruction effort that will start even as the fighting continues.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stated that Ukraine might “emerge from this on a road towards a stronger and more modern country.”
But even as discussion of restoration gets underway, dread persists for the people of Bucha, a Ukrainian village where Moscow’s forces were accused of committing war crimes following their retreat in April.
Vera Semeniouk, 65, said, “We’re going to bed not knowing if we’ll wake up tomorrow.”
“Everyone has returned, is beginning to fix up properties, and many are installing new windows. If it flared up again and we had to leave everything, that would be dreadful.
Magdalena Andersson, the prime minister of Sweden, paid her first visit to Bucha on Monday.