By Ali Cura
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the Lyman city in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine had fallen under the full control of Russian forces.
Igor Konashenkov, the spokesman for the ministry, told a press briefing in the capital Moscow that the Russian and Russian-backed forces in the Donetsk region had gained full control of the city.
He also said air-launched high-precision missiles hit a Ukrainian military post in the Bakhmut city and a regional defense unit command center in the Soledar city.
“More than 260 nationalist forces were neutralized in the Russian airstrikes,” Konashenkov added.
The Russian air defense system shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter near the Orikhiv settlement in the Zaporizhzhia region, he said.
Russian air forces also downed 18 Ukrainian drones at different locations in Mykolaiv, Luhansk, and Kharkiv regions, Konashenkov also said.
So far, Russian forces have destroyed 182 aircraft, 128 helicopters, 1,045 unmanned aerial vehicles, 324 air defense missile systems, 3,297 tanks, and armored vehicles, 444 multi-barrel rocket launchers, 1,714 howitzers, and mortars, as well as 3,245 special military vehicles of the Ukrainian army, he added.
At least 4,031 civilians have been killed and 4,735 injured in Ukraine since Russia’s war on its neighbor began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is believed to be much higher.
Over 6.7 million people have fled to other countries, while more than 7.7 million have been internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara