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Russia-Ukraine: Key intelligence and battleground updates

United Nations data estimates over 8.7 million people have left Ukraine since the invasion began. Here is what the battleground looks like right now

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A Ukrainian serviceman looks at a National Pedagogic university building destroyed by a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

Evgeniy Maloletka, Associated Press

It has been over four months since Russia invaded Ukraine. After weeks of focus on the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, Moscow has gained more ground as civilians get stuck in the middle of this war. Officials have urged people to leave the two areas in eastern Ukraine as intelligence updates reveal possible next moves.

The battle for Donetsk and Luhansk

Russian forces captured the Ukrainian city of Lysychansk, allowing them control over the entire Luhansk region. According to The Washington Post, Moscow is now diverting its focus on gaining ground in the Donetsk area.

Both Donetsk and Luhansk were recognized as independent nations by Russia before the invasion began, as President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine officials of targeting Russian-speaking residents in those areas.

Mass displacement continues

An estimated 350,000 residents are still in the Donetsk region, which is partly under Russia’s control.

“Russia has turned the entire Donetsk region into a hot spot where it is dangerous to remain for civilians,” said Pavlo Kyrylenko, the head of the Donetsk regional military administration, while talking about a missile attack in Toretsk on Wednesday, per CNN.

“I call on everyone to evacuate. Evacuation saves lives,” he added.

The United Nations said that more than 8.79 million people have crossed the border from Ukraine since the invasion began on Feb. 24, per Reuters.

What are the intelligence updates?

Latest updates by the United Kingdom defense intelligence indicated that Russia will continue to maintain control over Lysychansk and Luhansk, while the next key battle will be for the city of Sloviansk, in a struggle to control the Donbas region.