President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, commenting during his evening address on July 3 on the retreat of Ukrainian forces from Lysychansk in Luhansk Oblast, said Ukraine would not give up any of its territory.
“... We’re protect the lives of our soldiers, our people,” Zelenskyy said.
“We can rebuild the walls, we can recapture the land, but the people must be protected above all.”
He said Russia’s invasion force had gathered its greatest firepower in Donbas and could fire dozens of artillery shells around the clock in one sector of the front.
“And if the command of our army extracts people from certain positions on the frontline, where the enemy has the greatest fire advantage, as in Lysychansk, this means only one thing: we will return thanks to our tactics and increased supply of modern weapons," Zelenskyy said.
He said the Ukrainian army was destroying the military capabilities of the invaders day-by-day, and the HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and other weapons received from Ukraine’s Western allies played an important role in this.
Zelenskyy said the Russians should remember their expectation before Feb. 24, and in the first days of the full-scale invasion, in the spring, and now.
"...Let them really look at what they have gained by this time and how much they paid for it,” the president said. “Because their current reports will go to waste as well as the old ones. Gradually we are moving forward – both in Kharkiv and Kherson oblasts, and at sea: Zmiinyi island is a good example of that. The day will come when we will say the same about the Donbas.”
Ukraine’s General Staff announced on July 3 that after heavy fighting for Lysychansk, the Ukrainian army had been forced to withdraw from their positions and defensive lines. The General Staff said that under conditions of the overall advantage of the Russian invaders in artillery, air power, multiple launch rocket systems, ammunition and number of personnel, a further defense of the city would have lead to fatal consequences.
According to the General Staff, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia has lost about 35,970 personnel, 1,584 tanks, 217 aircraft, 187 helicopters, 654 drones, 15 ships and boats, and other military equipment.