“It is necessary not only to repair everything that the occupiers destroyed, but also to create a new basis for our lives – safe, modern, comfortable, barrier-free,” Zelenskyy said in a speech on Sunday night. The Ukrainian head of state referred in this context to a meeting of 40 potential donor countries next Monday in Lugano, Switzerland, at which the Ukrainian government intends to present its priorities for the reconstruction of the war-torn country for the first time.
Zelenskyy also reminded that the war was far from over. “His brutality is increasing in some places.” He appealed to his compatriots to volunteer for war victims.
According to their own statements, pro-Russian separatists together with Russian soldiers have taken control of the city administration building in the heavily contested eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk. That said the separatist representative Andrei Marochko of the Russian agency Interfax on Saturday evening. Similar reports about the strategically important city in the Luhansk region were also made by the Russian news agency Ria Novosti and by the President of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. Ukraine, on the other hand, recently presented the situation differently.
The Ukrainian side also spoke of heavy fighting on Saturday, but continued to describe the city as contested. The governor of the Luhansk region Serhiy Hayday said the Russians were trying to storm Lysychansk from different directions. Later in the day, Ukrainian National Guard spokesman Ruslan Musychuk reiterated: “Fierce fighting is taking place near Lysychansk, but fortunately the city is not surrounded and is under the control of Ukrainian troops.”
Lysychansk is the last large town in the Luhansk region that was held by Ukrainian troops. The capture of the territory is one of Moscow’s stated goals in the war. Last week, the Ukrainian military had to give up the city of Sievjerodonetsk, which is only across the river from Lysychansk.
The pro-Russian ruler of the ex-Soviet Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, threatened the West. If there is an attack on Belarus, his country will react immediately, Lukashenko said, according to the state news agency Belta. “Less than a month ago I gave orders to the armed forces units to target what you can now call decision centers in your capitals,” said the 67-year-old. He didn’t explain exactly what he meant by that. Regardless of the fact that Russia itself attacked Ukraine, Moscow and its ally Minsk repeatedly present themselves as victims of supposedly hostile policies by the West, and by NATO in particular.
Explosions in the Russian city of Belgorod near the border with Ukraine have killed three people, according to the region’s governor. Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote this on Sunday in the Telegram news service. Four other people were injured, including a 10-year-old child. In addition, 50 houses were damaged. The causes of the incident are being investigated and the air defense system is expected to be activated. The information could not be independently verified.
Russia has repeatedly complained about attacks on its own territory. In addition to Belgorod, other Russian regions – including Kursk and Bryansk – repeatedly accuse the Ukrainian side of shelling. Kyiv usually does not comment on the allegations.
Also read: The Ukraine update on July 2 – Russian troops allegedly in Lysychansk, Lukashenko accuses Kyiv of rocket attacks