Real-time updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Pro-Russian troops ride in an infantry fighting vehicle in the city of Lysichansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, on July 4.
Pro-Russian soldiers ride in an infantry fighting vehicle in the city of Lysichansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, on July 4. (Alexander Yermochenko/Reuters)

Ukrainian forces have repelled an advance by Russian troops on the village of Belogorovka, one of the few pockets in the Luhansk region still controlled by Kyiv, the head of the Luhansk regional military administration said on Tuesday.

“Main efforts [Russians] are focused on establishing control over the territory of the Lugansk region within its administrative borders,” Sergei Gaidai said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have announced an operational pause for the Russian forces that have taken over much of Luhansk, along with him congratulations to them on Monday. But Ukrainian reports from the frontline say otherwise. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, fighting on the administrative borders of the region continues.

In the neighboring Donetsk region, also in the Donbas, several cities were shelled, including Avdiivka, Marinka and Bakhmut, residential buildings and civilian infrastructure were damaged, the Ukrainian military said.

A house burns during shelling in Verkhneokamyansky, Ukraine, July 4.
A house burns during shelling in Verkhneokamyansky, Ukraine, July 4. (Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

According to the military, over the past day, at least two people were killed and six were injured.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Donetsk region “remains complicated,” Pavel Kirilenko, head of the Donetsk regional military administration, said in a televised address on Tuesday.

“There is not a single safe city in the Donetsk region, where there would be no shelling,” Kirilenko added.

Kirilenko said that “cruise missiles are used in cities relatively far from the front line”, and “all types of artillery, tanks, rockets, aerial bombs” are aimed at the front line.

In areas already under Russian control, Ukrainian officials say Moscow is focused on building a structure of control.

“A commandant’s office has been created in Severodonetsk, which, according to their plan, should replace local self-government, and they are looking for housing and communal services specialists,” the Ukrainian military said.