Ukraine says it has recovered strategic island; Russia announces control of Luhansk

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Russia took control of Lysychansk, the last city in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine that was still under Ukrainian control. Ukraine’s military announced on Sunday that it had been “forced to withdraw” from the city.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces flew the country’s flag over Cobra Island after forcing a Russian withdrawal from strategically important territory, a spokeswoman for the military’s Southern Command, 1st Captain Natalia Humeniuk, said in a statement on Monday. fair (4). Known as Zmiinyi Ostriv in Ukrainian, Snake Island is about 48 km off the coast of Ukraine and is close to the shipping lanes that lead to the Bosphorus and the Mediterranean.

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Here are today’s highlights:

Russia prepares for attack on Donetsk region, says Ukraine: The Ukrainian Army General Staff said that after taking over Lysychansk, Russian forces were preparing to continue their movement towards the Kiev-held cities of Donetsk.

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“In the direction of Sloviansk, enemy units are trying to establish control over the settlements of Bohorodychne, Mazanivka and Dolyna through assault operations,” the Ukrainian military said in a status update on Monday.

The focus now shifts to the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, the two largest population centers in the region.

School destroyed in Kharkiv attack: A secondary school in Ukraine’s second-largest city was destroyed after being hit by a Russian missile at around 4 am local time, regional administration head Oleh Synehubov said in a Telegram post on Monday.

There were no injuries at the school, but attacks in other areas of the Kharkiv region left at least three dead and six wounded in the village of Bezruky, Synehubov added.

Hockey player arrested in Russia for allegedly evading military service, according to reports : Russian goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov was detained in St. Petersburg at the request of the Military Prosecutor’s Office on Friday (1st) for evading military service, according to Russian media reports.

According to the Russian news agency Fontanka, the military prosecutor believes there are reasons to “consider Fedotov an army evader”. The 25-year-old Finnish-born Russian signed a one-year contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers on May 7 following the conclusion of the Russian and Chinese KHL hockey league season, where he led CSKA Moscow to win the Cup. Gagarin.

Russia says the weekend attack on Belgorod was aimed at provoking Moscow: Moscow says the alleged missile attack carried out by Ukrainian forces in the city of Belgorod was aimed at provoking Russia, according to the country’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Russia’s Defense Ministry accused Ukraine of attacking the city of Belgorod with three Tochka-U missiles and using explosives-laden drones to hit the Russian city of Kursk on Sunday.

Ukraine did not recognize the attacks.

Ukraine asks Turkey to “detain” Russian-flagged ship transporting Ukrainian grain

The ship Zhibek Zholy is currently moored near the Turkish port of Karasu as it “has been detained by Turkish customs authorities and is not allowed to enter the port,” Bondar said. “We are now awaiting the decision of the relevant Turkish authorities on the actions that Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies insist,” he added.

Ukraine says it raised its flag over Snake Island: The Ukrainian Armed Forces raised the country’s flag over Snake Island after forcing a Russian withdrawal from strategically important territory, a spokeswoman for the military Southern Command, 1st Captain Natalia Humeniuk, said in a statement on Monday.

The small but strategic territory was the scene of one of the initial salvos of the war in Ukraine, with demands from a Russian warship calling for the Ukrainian defenders to surrender, which boldly responded with “Russian warship, go ***** ”.

What to expect from the war in the coming days

The fall of Luhansk is “very painful, but “it is not the defeat in the war, says the governor of the region, Serhiy Haidai, in an interview with the agency Reuters.

“It is very painful, but it is not losing the war”, says the governor. “In military terms, it is bad to abandon positions, but there is nothing critical (with the loss of Lysychansk). We need to win the war, not the battle for Lysychansk.”

On Sunday (3), Russia announced the conquest of this city, Ukraine’s last bastion in Luhansk, as well as the “liberation” of the entire region.

“Today, July 3, 2022, the Defense Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Shoigu, reported to the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the release of the [autoproclamada] Luhansk People’s Republic,” reads the Kremlin statement, quoted by Tass.

For a few hours, Ukraine denied the conquest, but ended up confirming, in the late afternoon, the withdrawal of its troops from Lysychansk.

Haidai told Reuters that the departure from the city had been coordinated by the country’s central government, citing that it had taken place in an organized manner. The governor pointed out that Ukraine could have continued to defend Lysychansk, but his forces would have been heavily attacked and surrounded by Russian heavy artillery.

With the conquest of Luhansk assured, Moscow will now turn its attention to Donetsk, Haidai said. “Still, for them (Russian forces) the number one objective is the Donetsk region. Sloviansk and Bakhmut will come under attack – Bakhmut has already started to be attacked very strongly,” he stated.

The conquest of Donbass was defined by the Kremlin as the main objective of the war, as President Vladimir Putin highlighted in his speech on 9 May, in order to protect the Russian-speaking people of the region from what they considered to be “bullying” by Kiev for the past two years.

“For Russian public opinion, at this moment, the war is justified”

THE CNN university professor and diplomacy specialist Tiago Ferreira Lopes says Russia’s next objective in the war.

“With the fall of Luhansk, it is now interesting to complete the plan to take Donbass. It is now of interest to accelerate the dynamics of war, both in Sloviansk and in Bakhmut, Kramatorsk and Kharkiv. It is very possible that, throughout this week, these are the four cities where we will focus our attention. (…) At this time, the Russian war dynamics accelerated, in fact,” he said.

Lopes stresses that “for Russian public opinion, at this moment, the war is justified”, and pointed out the good approval ratings that Vladimir Putin maintains in the country. “A ‘special operation’ has been promised to ‘liberate’ Donbass, and one of the region’s two breakaway republics is ‘liberated’, although Ukraine has stressed that it intends to return.”

About this promise left by the Ukrainian president, the professor says that Volodymyr Zelensky “speaks to the internal public, gives a sense of hope and conveys the idea that the war is not lost, that an interruption is not a defeat”. “It is difficult to believe that this will happen, at least in the short-medium term, especially because there was an expectation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive from mid-June.”

Lopes also takes advantage of the statements reproduced above by Serhiy Haidai to affirm that the Ukrainian forces are, at the moment, in a “more complex situation”, given that, in Donbass, “things are going much better for Moscow”.

Pointing out that it is “difficult to read the minds of political leaders who are somewhat erratic in their agendas”, the expert says that, if Russia takes Donbass, “it is very likely that such a plan to take the entire sea [zona costeira] be the focus again. Then, cities like Odessa or others on the Black Sea will be the new focus of attention.”

The professor also warned that Russia, after conquering a large city, “attacks three or four cities, as if to signal the next targets. We are seeing this today, in Sloviansk, Bakhmut, Kharkiv and Sumy.”

The expert assesses that the West had “little caution” in applying economic sanctions to Russia. “What we lacked was to look to the East. While Western sanctions have symbolic weight, the truth is that the Global South has allowed Russia to mitigate the impact of these sanctions, and even maintain or increase revenues from the sale of gas and oil, with a series of new customers that did not have”.

(With information from CNN’s Oleksandra Ochman and Pedro Falardo)

Source: CNN Brasil

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