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Putin To Pause Ukraine War After Capturing Lysychansk: Report

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A U.S. think tank said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has likely directed his troops to take an "operational pause" of the "special military operation" after they captured the eastern Ukrainian cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk.

"Putin met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu on July 4 to discuss recent Russian gains in Luhansk Oblast and presented Colonel General Alexander Lapin and Major General Esedulla Abachev with the "Hero of Russia" award for their leadership during the Lysychansk operation," the Institute for Study of War wrote in its latest update on the war in Ukraine.

Russian forces have taken control of Lysychansk and a number of nearby settlements in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine at the weekend.

With this, Ukrainian forces have lost control of the last city in Luhansk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged the latest setback for his forces on the war front, saying that they were forced to leave the city as their lives were indanger in the face of incessant Russian artillery shelling.

Meanwhile, in a bid to bolster support to Ukraine, Japan on Tuesday extended its sanctions on Russia and its strongest ally Belarus. Tokyo announced that it will stop Russian gold imports, and suspend consulting and accounting services from both nations.

Addressing the forum on Ukraine Recovery in Lugano, Switzerland, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the Russian invasion of Ukraine has damaged the country's infrastructure worth more than $100 billion.

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