• Russia claims it's taken control of a major city in Ukraine's Luhansk region in the Donbas. 
  • Russia's Defense Ministry said forces and separatists captured Lysychansk on Sunday. 
  • Ukraine refuted the claim and said the city was not yet under full Russian control. 

Russian forces and their separatist allies captured Lysychansk, a major city in Ukraine's Luhansk region, Russia's Defense Ministry said in a Telegram post on Sunday. 

The forces also captured nearby settlements. 

The Washington Post reported that Lysychansk was a key target for Russia as it sought to capture the Donbas region, where Ukrainian separatists partly have control. 

Ukraine's defense ministry spokesman Yuriy Sak refuted Russia's claims and told the BBC that the city was not under the "full control" of Russia. 

Sak said the situation in Lysychansk had been intense for a while, with Russian forces "attacking the city non-stop."

"For Ukrainians, the value of human life is a top priority, so sometimes we may retreat from certain areas so that we can retake them in the future," he said.

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