Ukraine expels Russia from strategically important city of Lyman

Soldier at Lyman

In the city of Lyman, Ukraine said it had surrounded 5,000 Russian soldiers.

(Photo: Reuters)

Berlin Russia gave up the strategically important city of Lyman in the Donetsk region in another defeat by the Ukrainian army. The armed forces had been withdrawn because of the risk of encirclement, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow on Saturday. Ukrainian authorities had previously spoken of around 5,000 encircled Russian soldiers.

For weeks Lyman had been fought bitterly. After the defeat in the northern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv and their withdrawal from there, Russian troops tried to build a new front line along the Oskil and Siverskyi Donets rivers.

Lyman as the nearest city across from the Kyiv-held Sloviansk conurbation Kramatorsk was considered important in this regard. On the one hand, to be able to launch attacks in the north of the Donbass region, on the other hand as a barrier for a Ukrainian counter-offensive.

After intense fighting, the city fell on Saturday. Ukrainian units hoisted the blue and yellow national flag in Lyman. The Ukrainians had previously taken the city in the pliers. Attacks were launched from the west as well as from the north and south. The Russians’ only supply and retreat link to the east via Zarichne and Torske came under fire from the Ukrainian artillery. Under these circumstances, it is unclear how many Russian soldiers died or were taken prisoner.

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Because: According to their own statements, the Ukrainian troops had at times surrounded around 5,000 Russian soldiers. 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.

Lyman was considered important after Russia’s defeat in Kharkiv

“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 5000 of them, there is no exact number.

Hajdaj said there had never been such a number of encircled Russians in the war. After the Russian defeat in Kharkiv, Lyman was considered so important that the Russian leadership wanted to hold the city as long as possible, at least until the declaration of the annexation of the four Ukrainian regions of Cherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia.

>> Read here: Follow the latest developments in our live blog

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation at a ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday. 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 advisers Nato-States.

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”.

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