Moscow, Jun 24 (Prensa Latina) Russian forces have surrounded nearly two thousand Ukrainian combatants in the vicinity of the towns of Gorskoye and Zolotoye, in the territory of the Lugansk region, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported.
According to its spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, four battalions are now surrounded in Gorskoye, in addition to a formation of members of the Pravyi Sektor radical organization and a platoon of foreign mercenaries.
Sources from the militia of the Lugansk People’s Republic (PLR) stated that Ukrainian casualties near Lisichansk, Gorskoye and Zolotoye amount to over a thousand fatalities, with some 800 surrendered, a significant number of them wounded.
It was further noted that LPR troops, together with the Russian Armed Forces, have already approached the outskirts of Lisichansk from the west. The head of the military and civil administration of Lugansk in Kiev, Sergei Gaidai, declared earlier that the Ukrainian army had lost control of the southern part of the city.
Gaidai told the Ukrainian Dom television channel that the Ukrainian troops had been ordered to leave the city of Severodonetsk, the administrative center of the Kiev-controlled part of the Lugansk region.
When asked if the Ukrainian military would have to leave Severodonetsk he answered “Unfortunately, yes,” and added that “both the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the National Guard have already been ordered to withdraw to new positions, to new fortified areas.
The representative of Kiev also recognized that the Lugansk militias and the Russian troops are successful in their advance towards the city of Lisichansk. Taking the said city and that of Severodonetsk is a priority for the Russian Armed Forces and the Lugansk popular militias in the fight for the liberation of Donbass from the Ukrainian forces.