Russia claims capture of pivotal city in eastern Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russia’s defense minister says Moscow’s forces have taken control of the last major Ukrainian-held city in Ukraine’s Luhansk province. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told President Vladimir Putin on Sunday that Russia’s armed forces and a separatist militia "have established full control over the city of Lysychansk.” Ukrainian officials haven’t confirmed the claim. Ukraine’s forces spent weeks trying to keep Lysychansk from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago. Occupying both cities would open the way for the Russians to move west into Donetsk, the other province that makes up Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. In western Russia’s Belgorod region, meanwhile, the governor said fragments of an intercepted Ukrainian missile killed four people.