“After heavy fighting for Lisichansk, the Ukrainian defense forces were forced to withdraw from their positions and lines,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in a Telegram message.

On July 3, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Luhansk People's Republic.

Army General Shoigu noted that as a result of successful hostilities, full control was established over Lisichansk and a number of nearby settlements.

The largest of them are Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantsevo and Belaya Gora.

The Ukrainian grouping of troops is blocked in the Lysychansk cauldron; at present, the defeat of the surrounded enemy is being completed in the city.