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Dual Attacks Rock Russian-Controlled Luhansk in East Ukraine

The Russian-occupied city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine faced two attacks within three hours early on Tuesday, according to officials. The strikes appeared to have triggered fires in the city, though Ukraine did not officially comment on either incident.

Leonid Pasechnik, the Russia-installed governor of the Luhansk region, stated that the first attack around 6 p.m. local time involved the use of cluster munitions. “A fire has broken out as a result of the attack,” Pasechnik said, noting that information on casualties was being gathered.

Russia’s Tass news agency, citing emergency services, reported injuries from the initial strike. Ukrainian media and war bloggers shared an image depicting a large fire burning in the city following the first attack.

According to a Russian Foreign Ministry official, a second strike hit Luhansk around midnight, apparently targeting the same general area as the earlier attack. Rodion Miroshnik, a special ambassador for the ministry, said residents heard two explosions in the district where the first attack occurred.

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“It cannot be ruled out that the repeated strike occurred at the site where rescue teams are dealing with the aftermath of the previous missile attack,” Miroshnik wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian news outlets claimed the second strike targeted an airfield and posted a video showing a fire spreading over a wide area. Reuters could not independently verify the accounts from the battlefield or identify the type of weapon used.

In recent weeks, Ukraine’s military has launched at least three attacks on Luhansk and nearby areas, primarily targeting fuel storage facilities. Russia annexed the Luhansk region several months after its February 2022 invasion, along with three other regions, although it does not fully control any of them.

Much of Luhansk has been occupied since 2014, when Russian-backed separatists seized control of large swaths of territory in eastern Ukraine after protests led to the ousting of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia’s forces annexed Crimea.

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