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Ukrainian forces enter Lyman

Source: Meduza

Ukrainian forces have entered Lyman. A video appeared on social media showing the Ukrainian military raising a flag on a monument at the entrance to the city. Witnesses confirm that Ukrainian forces are in the western part of the city. The Russian Ministry of Defense has announced that “in connection with a developing threat of encirclement” Russian troops have been withdrawn from Lyman “to more advantageous lines.”

Ukrainian troops placing a flag at the entrance to Lyman

In the past weeks, Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) have been attacking Russian positions around Lyman. It’s a small city in the Donetsk region, where 20,000 people lived before the war. Russian troops seized the city in the summer of 2022.

Ukrainian soldiers in the battle for Lyman. June 2, 2022
Heidi Levine / The Washington Post / Sipa Press / Scanpix / LETA

In the end of September, various sources reported that Russian troops near Lyman were about to be encircled. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) in the US, which publishes daily updates on events in the combat zone based on open source data, wrote on September 29 that Russian “war correspondents” had reported Ukrainian troops advancing to the west, north, and north-west of Lyman. They claimed that the UAF was preparing to encircle Russian troops in the city and along the banks of the Seversky Dontesk River, and were threatening Russian troops and supply lines near Lyman.

The Ukrainian side claims that the city is surrounded. Serhiy Cherevaty, representative for the Ukrainian special operations team “Vostok,” announced today that around 5,000 Russian soldiers could be encircled. Other sources do not confirm this.

What the loss of Lyman means for Russia. Russian command will probably have to transfer a large number of reserves which, most likely, it had planned to use in the southern Donbas and Zaporizhia regions. Otherwise, Russian troops could lose control over a significant part of the Luhansk region. Kremlin allies criticized the decision to withdraw. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov advised demoting the commander of the Lyman operation and seriously escalating operations in Ukraine. “We need to take more serious steps,” he posted on Telegram, “up to and including using tactical nuclear weapons.”

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