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Forces close in on Seversk after Russia takes control of Lysychansk

FORCES of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) were said to be advancing towards the city of Seversk in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region today. 

LPR foreign minister Vladislav Deinego said that troops were also heading toward Kharkiv as Russia occupied more territory. 

“Now, we are already moving to Seversk. It is the closest to the LPR city, which is linked with Lysychansk organisationally,” he said. 

Ukrainian troops withdrew from Lysychansk on Sunday to avoid capture as its forces were in danger of being surrounded.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the military units “that took part in active hostilities and achieved success, victory” in Lugansk “should rest, increase their combat capabilities” today.

But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to liberate the territory, saying his forces had only retreated in order to save lives.

“We will rebuild the walls, we will win back the land,” he declared. 

Mr Zelensky appealed for more arms to help the fight against Russian forces as he addressed world leaders who were gathered in Switzerland today. 

They are discussing a new “Marshall Plan” package for the rebuilding of Ukraine at a two-day conference in the northern Swiss town of Lugano. 

The meeting was planned long before the Russian invasion and was initially set to discuss reforms in Ukraine but will now focus on reconstruction.  

Rebuilding Ukraine is the “common task of the whole democratic world,” Mr Zelensky told those gathered, saying that the recovery of his war-torn country would serve world peace.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal estimated the cost to be as high as $750 billion (£619bn) and said that rich Russians should bear the cost.  

“We believe that the key source of recovery should be the confiscated assets of Russia and Russian oligarchs,” he said.  

“The Russian authorities unleashed this bloody war. They caused this massive destruction and they should be held accountable for it.” 

An area near the British embassy in the Russian capital Moscow is set to be renamed after the LPR, a joint press statement released by the mayor and the government today.

It comes after nearly 57 per cent of around 110,000 people polled voted in favour of the name change. 

“Decisions supported by the majority of votes are implemented in the city,” a statement said. 

Muscovites had earlier voted to rename territory close to the US embassy in the city Donetsk People’s Republic Square. 

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