Russian defence minister tells Putin Ukraine's Luhansk region has been 'liberated'

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July 3 (Reuters) - Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed President Vladimir Putin that all of Ukraine's Luhansk region had been "liberated" by Russian and separatist forces, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

After being beaten back in its initial attempt to capture the capital Kyiv, Russia has focused its efforts on driving Ukrainian forces out of Luhansk and Donetsk regions in the east of the country, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since Russia's first military intervention in Ukraine in 2014.

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