LUGANSK, August 11. /TASS/. The hardest task in the course of the special operation in the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) was to liberate the town of Shchastye, where a lot of Ukrainian troops were stationed, LPR People's Militia officer Andrey Marochko told TASS on Thursday.
"If we talk about the start of the special military operation, then, of course, the most difficult task was to free the settlement of Shchastye since a large number of Ukrainian troops were stationed there. They had well fortified positions, logistics to the town was very good," he said. "We had to do our best to liberate it, and when the first line of defense was broken, the Ukrainian troops began to flee," the officer told TASS.
Meanwhile, Stanychno-Lugansky was taken almost without striking a blow, Marochko continued. Then the enemy moved deep into the republic, keeping north - to Novoaidarsky and Starobelsky districts. "There, the allied forces began to press them from the territory of Russia, liberating the Markovsky and Melovsky districts. There was not much fighting there either," he went on to say.
"Only two or three key and heavy battles, but there was no active fighting as here, along the line of contact," Marochko said.
Later, difficulties emerged in most densely populated localities - Rubezhnoye, Lisichansk, Severodonetsk and Popasnoye. "It was very difficult there, in fact those were outposts. All these towns were turned into one fortified district," the officer explained.
On February 26, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov reported that LPR troops had taken under control the settlements of Shchastye and Muratovo. Battles for Rubezhnoye began in early March, and by May 13, the LPR People's Militia reported that the city had been liberated. LPR forces liberated Severodonetsk on June 25, with the support of Russian forces. Allied forces later took control of Lisichansk, the last of the key LPR towns held by Ukrainian forces. On July 3, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the liberation of the Lugansk People’s Republic.
President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.
The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics lunched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.