On July 4th, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and reported on the progress of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. Shoigu reported on the liberation of the Luhansk People’s Republic which was declared on July 3rd.
Within two weeks, 25 settlements fell under control of Russian-led forces, the largest of which are Severodonetsk, Zolotoye, Gorskoye, Volcheyarovka. The total area of 670 square kilometers was liberate from the Kiev military.
At the same time, 196 Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles, 12 aircraft and one helicopter, 166 field and mortar artillery guns and 216 vehicles for various purposes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) were destroyed.
Among the main points of the Shoigu’s report to Putin about the course of the special operation, there were the declared losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine:
“Over the past two weeks, the losses of the Ukrainian army amounted to 5,469 people, 196 Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles, 12 aircraft and one helicopter were destroyed. The AFU abandoned 39 units of tanks, 11 guns and mortars, 48 anti-tank missile systems during the retreat from the city,” Shoigu claimed.
The Defence Minister added that the demining operations are being carried out in Lisichansk.
“The units that took part in active hostilities and achieved success, victories in the Luhansk direction, should rest, increase their combat capabilities. And other military formations, including the “East”, “West” grouping, must perform their tasks according to previously approved plans,” the Russian President ordered.
In turn, the Kiev regime claims its own victory in Lisichansk. The Kiev media spread the reports that in fact control of the Severodonetsk-Lisichansk region had no strategic importance and the AFU withdrawal was not a problem. This is reported days after the Ukrainian President declared that “the fate of Ukraine was being decided in the battle for Severodonetsk”.
Adviser to the head of the office of Vladimir Zelensky Alexey Arestovich even called the surrender of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk a successful operation of the Ukrainian military. According to him, “all the tasks of the operation have been completed.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian servicemen are lost on the front lines. The soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine share videos complaining that the National Guard of Ukraine withdrew all equipment from Lisichansk and left people to their fate. Such a message was shared on the Telegram channel of the 131st Special Reconnaissance Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Guys, good evening. We have a few questions. We are standing on the Lisichansk direction. Really ####. The ####ing equipment is leaving. Cossacks are leaving, all armored vehicles are leaving. The guys are left without anything. What is the meaning of all this? I don’t ####ing understand.
We are ####ing fighting with only machine guns with everything that is possible and not ####ing possible. The National Guard are ####ing ‘handsome’. They just leave, take all the equipment with them, everything.
It’s really ####ing insulting. It’s a shame that the Luhansk people, the Kievans are ####ing. I’m from the Luhansk region, Anton from the Luhansk region, Sanya from Vinnitsa ####ing.
– Don’t touch me.
– And we locals are trying to hold positions, and the normal equipment, which is really armored, which could really help in battle, it all just leaves.
Almost all the roads to Lisichansk were cut by Russian-led forces. However, the city was not completely surrounded. Days ago, the Seversk-Artemovsk (Bakhmut) road was under fire control of Russian artillery.
Judging by the reports from the front lines, it is likely that the warring sides reached an agreement that the AFU units could safely retreat from the trap. On the other hand, no heavy battles were launched in the city.and it avoided heavy damage.
The Russian military shared footage from the Lisichansk-Bakhmut road which confirmed that the retreating Ukrainian units were under control of Russian forces but were not shelled.
Ukrainian soldiers also filmed their retreat from the war-torn city:
– Everything is on fire.
– Salvation from hell.
– Go ahead.
– I will not come here anymore.
– We came from there.
Footage of the city of Lisichansk confirmed that it did not suffer the same damage as the city of Mariupol did, for example. The main destructions were reported in the city center, while the residential districts were almost untouched by the battles.
However, Ukrainian forces were preparing for street battles in Lisichansk, there were barricades of civilian cars and buses on the streets, and trenches were dug in the courtyards of residential buildings.
After the city of Lisichansk and the whole territory of the Luhansk People’s Republic came under control of Russian-led forces, the advancing units moved in the direction of Seversk, another stronghold of the AFU. In their turn, the Ukrainian military prepared the new lines of defence in advance. The AFU grouping deployed in the region is constantly reinforced in manpower and equipment.