Lysychansk: An Attack on a City held by Russia in Ukraine Claims Dozens of Lives

According to reports, there has been a tragic incident in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukrainian town of Lysychansk, resulting in the loss of numerous lives.

The building, which also housed a restaurant named Adriatic, was struck on Saturday.

Officials from Russia have confirmed that several individuals, including servicemen, women, and a child, lost their lives in the strike.

The Kremlin has claimed that the attack was a “terrorist act” carried out by Ukraine, and they have pointed out that Western-supplied weapons were used.

Kyiv has not provided any comments, however, Ukrainian military bloggers have asserted that individuals they refer to as “collaborators” and Russian officials were present in the building during that period.

According to reports, the leader of the Russia-annexed Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) announced that a strike resulted in the unfortunate loss of the minister of emergency situations, Alexey Poteleshchenko. It is reported that the strike occurred while he was celebrating his birthday at a restaurant.

Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed that the Ukrainian Armed Forces purposefully attacked the bakery, with full knowledge that it is a popular spot for locals to gather on Saturdays to buy baked goods and groceries, including vulnerable groups such as the elderly and families with children.

The BBC has not verified either the death toll or any other claims made by Russia or Ukraine.

In July 2022, Lysychansk, located in the eastern Luhansk region, fell under Russian control.

Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a trip to army positions near the front-line village of Robotyne during his visit to the southern Zaporizhzhya region. Images shared on social media depicted him presenting medals in what seemed to be a subterranean refuge.

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The visit coincided with rumours circulating about President Zelensky potentially dismissing his commander-in-chief, Gen Valerii Zaluzhnyi.

During Sunday night, Italian broadcaster Rai 1 featured an interview with President Zelensky where he addressed the circulating rumours. President Zelensky emphasised the need for a “reset” and a change in senior leadership, without directly mentioning Gen Zaluzhnyi.

As the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches, Ukrainian forces have faced challenges in achieving significant progress. The Ukrainian counter-offensive, initiated in the summer of 2023, has been unsuccessful in reclaiming the territories captured by Russia.

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