Russian Forces Continue To Pound Eastern Ukraine

Russian Forces Continue To Pound Eastern Ukraine

July 3, 2022, 7:46 a.m.

The Russian military says it has completely encircled the eastern Ukrainian city of Lyscychansk, Ukraine's last stronghold in the Luhansk region.

But Ukrainian officials deny the assertion, saying the fight for the city is still ongoing.

Russia has deployed its troops around Lysychansk to take the full control of this easternmost region.

Pro-Russian separatists told Russian media on Saturday that allied forces had completely surrounded Lyscychansk, and that Ukrainians can no longer escape from there.

A Ukrainian spokesperson denied the claim, telling local media that the city had not yet fallen to Russian forces, and that fierce battles are underway.

Russia's defense ministry announced on Saturday that its missile attacks had destroyed command posts, ammunition depots and weapons of Ukrainian forces in the eastern and southern regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv.

British defense analysts have criticized Moscow for using missiles that are not optimized to accurately strike ground targets.

They say that's likely because of dwindling stockpiles of modern weapons. They warn that the number of civilian casualties could rise.

Meanwhile, the Russian defense ministry also said that the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Valery Gerasimov, visited soldiers on the frontlines.

Photos show Gerasimov being briefed by commanding officers. But the ministry has not disclosed which locations he visited.

This followed similar movements by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who last week reportedly inspected Russian troop units involved in Ukraine.

Moscow appears to be trying to boost morale of its soldiers with frontline visits by top military commanders.

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