Russia claims control of Lysychansk, a pivotal city in eastern Ukraine

Russia on Sunday claimed full control of the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, though Ukrainian President Zelenskyy insisted fierce fighting there is not over yet. The city is the last major Ukrainian stronghold in the Luhansk province. If Lysychansk is seized, it will bring Moscow a large step closer to its goal of capturing all of the Donbas region. Lisa Desjardins reports.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Good evening. We begin tonight with news out of Ukraine. What may be a major shift as Russian forces take over a pivotal eastern city.

    For Russians a high priority as Moscow claimed full control of the eastern Ukraine city of Lysychansk.

  • Igor Konashenkov, Spokesman, Russian Defense Ministry:

    As a result of successful offensive actions, we have closed the encirclement around Lysychansk. The Ukrainian troops are completely blocked in another cauldron.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    But Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy meeting with the Australian Prime Minister in Kyiv insisted the fierce fight for Lysychansk is not over yet. The city of about 100,000 people is the last major Ukrainian stronghold in the Luhansk province. Its neighbor Severodonetsk, another critical city was taken by Russia a week ago.

    If Lysychansk is seized it will bring Moscow one large step closer to its goal of capturing all of Ukraine's Donbas region.

    More than 100 miles northwest residents of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city are cleaning up after a 4am rocket barrage that damaged homes and a school. One family credited a pet with their safety,

  • Olenskii Milhulin, Kharkiv Resident:

    There was just a cherry tree and a fence. Now the fence is destroyed and there is no cherry tree. My wife was lucky that she woke up early in the morning because the roof fell exactly where she had been sleeping.

  • Woman:

    The dogs saved you?

  • Olenskii Milhulin:

    Yes, it didn't let us sleep the whole night.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In some other parts of the country, Zelenskyy yesterday said that life was beginning to return to normal. But he urged his people not to forget that the battle for Ukraine still rages.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President:

    In many home front cities, there is now a feeling of relaxation. But the war is not over. The war continues. Unfortunately, war is only increasing in some places. Do not forget about it.

Listen to this Segment