'Catastrophic destruction' in Lysychansk; Russian soldiers moving into homes of fleeing Ukrainians: Live updates
Russian rockets and artillery bombarded the eastern city of Lysyhansk, bringing "catastrophic destruction" to the last city in the Luhansk region not controlled by the invading forces.
Governor Serhiy Haidai said at least five high-rise buildings were destroyed, one with ten apartments.
"Russians do not stop demolishing housing, industrial and administrative facilities," he said on Telegram. "There is not an hour when the enemy artillery calms down."
The capture of the city would give Russian forces virtually complete control of Luhansk, one of two regions that make up Ukraine's industrial Donbass region, which has been the target of Russian aggression since a brief, failed attack on the capital, Kyiv.
Smoke billows over the oil refinery outside the city of Lysychansk on June 23, 2022, amid Russia's military invasion of Ukraine.
►A senior Ukrainian official says his country is working on a prisoner swap to free two US military veterans captured by Russian forces while serving as war volunteers in Ukraine.
►Russia fired long-range missiles at Kyiv early Sunday, the first attack on the Ukrainian capital in weeks.
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Russians are moving into houses left empty by Ukrainians who fled the slaughter
About 7,500 civilians remain in Sievierodonetsk, two days after the last parts of the city fell to Russian troops, Mayor Oleksandr Striuk said. Russian soldiers have started moving into houses left empty by Ukrainians who have fled the city, he said.
"They put their soldiers and officers in the houses," Striuk said. "They act like they own the city."
Last week Governor Serhiy Haidai announced that Ukrainian troops would conduct a "tactical withdrawal" from the charred ruins of a city that was home to over 100,000 just a few months ago.
New aid package for Ukraine with advanced air defense systems
A new aid package for Ukraine will include new air defense systems, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday. Sullivan said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the G-7 about Sunday's missile strikes on Kyiv and asked for additional air defense capabilities that could launch missiles.
"We intend to finalize a package that includes advanced medium and long-range air defense capabilities for the Ukrainians along with some other items that are badly needed, including ammunition for artillery and counter-battery radar systems," Sullivan said of a pool report: "What we are trying to do with this point is to tailor our military assistance to the specific, immediate needs of Ukrainians on the battlefield."
Sullivan said Zelenskyi made it clear to officials that a protracted, attritional conflict was not in the interests of the Ukrainian people. Zelenskyy, Sullivan said, wants to see his military and Western allies backing his military effort over the next few months to put Ukraine "in as good a position as they can be."
"He believes that a tough conflict is not in the interests of the Ukrainian people for obvious reasons," Sullivan said.
G-7 leaders could cap prices on Russian oil
The Group of Seven nations are moving closer to capping the price countries can pay for Russian oil, a senior US official said. The official said leaders aim to further constrain President Vladimir Putin's cash flow, lower prices at the pump and bring more stability to energy markets.
Allegedly, the leaders focused on the way Russian oil is shipped. The US official said the G-7 leaders plan to order their governments to take urgent steps to develop a price cap mechanism for countries not participating in the economic alliance.
No additional details on a potential price cap and how it would work were immediately available. Read more here.
– Francesca Chambers, USA TODAY
Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution
Russia defaulted on two foreign currency bonds Sunday night, the Wall Street Journal reported, defaulting on its foreign debt for the first time since the 1917 Bolshevik revolution.
Moscow owes around $40 billion in foreign loans. About half of this debt is attributable to foreigners. Last month, the US Treasury Department ended Russia's ability to repay its debts to international investors through American banks.
Russia has said any default is "artificial" because it can afford to pay, but sanctions have limited its ability to move the money. The default will be another economic blow for Putin after Western sanctions disrupted trade and prompted companies to sever ties with Russia.
Contribution: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Live updates from Ukraine: Last Luhansk town under heavy Russian attack
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