According to their own statements, the Ukrainian troops are in the strategically important city of Lyman in the Donetsk region around 5000 Russian soldiers surrounded. That was the status on Saturday morning, said the Ukrainian head of administration for Luhansk, Serhiy Hajdaj. “The occupiers asked their leadership to come out if possible, and they were rebuffed,” he said. “They now have three courses of action: either they can try to break out or they surrender. Or they all die together. There are about 5,000 of them, there is no exact number.”
Hajdaj said there had never been such a number of encircled Russians in the war. Almost all entrances are blocked. Western military experts assume that Lyman will be completely freed in the next few days. For the army of Russian President Vladimir Putin, this would be another massive defeat in the invasion that has been going on for more than seven months.
On Friday, Kremlin chief Putin annexed the occupied parts of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Cherson regions under international protest. No state recognizes this breach of international law. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had announced that all occupied territories would be liberated. To do this, he relies on heavy weapons from the West and on military advisors from the NATO countries.