Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), the Russian Defense Ministry on Sunday, July 3.

“On July 3, 2022, the Russian Minister of Defense, General of the Army Sergey Shoigu reported to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armed Forces Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic,” the ministry said.

The ministry added the Russian Armed Forces and the People’s Militia of the LPR have established full control over Lisichansk and a number of nearby settlements, the largest of which are Belogorovka, Novodruzhesk, Maloryazantsevo, and Belaya Gora.

Russia has taken control of Lysychansk, the last city in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine that was still under Ukrainian control.  Ukraine's military announced on July 3 that it had been "forced to withdraw" from the critical city.

The Lugansk People's Republic, or Luhansk People's Republic is a breakaway region located in eastern Ukraine.  It was formed by pro-Russian separatists in April 2014.  The population of the republic is approximately 2.1 million people.

The LPR declared independence from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, along with the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Republic of Crimea. This resulted in the Donbas War, and both the LPR and DPR were designated as terrorist organizations by Ukraine in May 2014.  The LPR and DPR receive humanitarian assistance from Russia.  According to NATO and Ukraine, Russia had also provided military aid to the rebels before the 2022 Russian invasion, a claim that Russia previously denied.