Kyiv: The Ukrainian army has recaptured the village of Luhansk two months after Russia took control of the eastern region. The governor of Luhansk province, Serhii Haidai, said that Russian troops had pulled out of the village of Bilohorivka. The village of Bilohorivka is 10 kilometers west of the town of Lisychansk, which Russia captured in July after weeks of fighting.
The standoff comes as Russia tries to annex eastern and southern Ukraine it has seized. Referendums are being held in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and the partly Russian-controlled Zaporozhye region starting on Friday. Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be in favor of the referendum. The Russian invasion began with an eye on the Donbass region, which includes Luhansk and Donetsk.
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, said that Russia’s main goal is to liberate the Donbass region of Ukraine and that a referendum is needed in Donbass. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear that a diplomatic settlement was unlikely. The Tass news agency said the referendum will be held in Luhansk between September 23 and 27. The head of the Russian-designated region, Vladimir Zaldo, said on Tuesday that he had decided to hold a referendum in Kherson. The RIA Novosti news agency reported that the Russian-controlled part of the Zaporizhia region could also hold a referendum on joining Russia in the coming days.