The news comes amid reports of Russian troops entering Lisichansk – the last major city in the Lugansk People's Republic under Ukrainian forces' control.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has briefed President Vladimir Putin on the complete liberation of the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR), which Moscow recognized earlier this year, from Ukrainian forces.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the LPR's liberation was completed with the fall of the city of Lisichansk, as well as several nearby towns, such as Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantsevo and Belaya Gora, which are now under the control of the Russian and LPR Armed Forces. The two states' troops liberated 182 square kilometers of LPR lands from Kiev-controlled forces, the ministry added.
There were several reports that Russian forces had taken Lisichansk, the last major stronghold of Ukrainian troops in the LPR, on 2 July, with Kiev denying it despite admitting that the situation was severe. However, official confirmation arrived on 3 July.