Russia Withdraws From Lyman

Russia Withdraws From Lyman

According to Russia, it has given up the strategically important city of Lyman in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Moscow had to concede another military defeat. The armed forces had been withdrawn because of the risk of encirclement, said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

However, according to Ukrainian information, Russian soldiers are still in the city.

Lyman is a central transportation hub located 160 kilometres southeast of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Ukrainian forces had advanced across the Oskil River as part of a counter-offensive in which they had recaptured large parts of the territory since September. Now Ukrainian troops may be able to push further into the occupied Luhansk region, one of the four regions Russia annexed on Friday.

The chief of staff of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj published a video on the Internet that is said to show Ukrainian soldiers at a monument on the outskirts of Lyman. The men in the shot wave Ukrainian flags. The Ukrainian army had previously surrounded the city. Attacks were launched from the west as well as from the north and south.

Under these circumstances, how many Russian soldiers died or were taken prisoner is unclear. According to their own statements, the Ukrainian troops had surrounded around 5,000 Russian soldiers at times.

With the fall of Lyman, the path to Kreminna and Svatowe opened up for the Ukrainian troops. Both cities are located in the Luhansk region and – especially Swatowe – are considered important transport hubs. This would be a devastating signal for the Kremlin. At the beginning of the summer, the Russian army declared the Luhansk region “liberated”.

Image by Wikimedia (Stanislav Kozlovskiy)/ Attribution 3.0 unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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