Ukrainian forces encircle Russian troops in Lyman, a day after annexation claims

KYIV – Less than 24 hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin proudly announced his illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Donetsk region, thousands of his troops now appear trapped there.

Ukrainian forces have besieged Lyman, a major transportation hub in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian Armed Forces spokesman Serhii Cherevaty told The Washington Post on Saturday. With Russian forces under siege, Ukrainian soldiers are now expected to re-establish full control of Lyman in the coming days.

Lyman’s powerful counterattack and seemingly imminent takeover would be an embarrassment for Moscow – a day after claiming territory in eastern Ukraine as its own – to a wider international standard. slander. Ukrainian forces advanced on the city overnight, although the Russian A Grand ceremonies and pop concerts Celebrating the annexation in Moscow’s Red Square.

In addition to besieging the town, which is a key supply hub in western Ukraine’s Donbas region, Cherevati said Ukrainian forces had recaptured four villages near Lyman. Donetsk’s pro-Kremlin separatist leader, Denis Pushilin, confessed on Friday The city was “semi-sieged”, describing Kiev’s progress as “very unpleasant news”, which threatened to “overshadow” the annexation celebrations.

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Unverified social media Video footage Ukrainian troops posted by the head of the Ukrainian president’s office on Saturday were seen carrying out their own celebrations, raising a blue and yellow flag on the outskirts of the city. Another video surfaced showing troops stamping on the Russian flag in the city.

Pro-Russian military bloggers also appeared to concede defeat in the city. A prominent anonymous Russian military blogger known as Rybar said On Saturday, routes out of the city were restricted to Russian soldiers and “at this stage, it is not possible to make a tide.”

Meanwhile, a pro-Kremlin Telegram channel with close ties Wagner mercenary group Reported Russian forces in Leman were “completely surrounded” and “unprecedented” measures were being taken to rescue them. Putin’s annexation ceremony and speech on Friday had previously made it impossible to withdraw troops from the city, it said.

The battle presents a test for Putin, who has vowed to treat attacks in the annexed region as attacks on Russia. While Lyman’s loss “caused serious damage to the reputation of the Russian Federation,” Raiber wrote, the fact that it has yet to be rubber-stamped and ratified by Russia’s parliament is unclear.

Thousands of Russian troops are in the city, Accordingly To Luhansk regional governor Serhii Haidai, who said that “almost all routes for the Russians to release and transport ammunition have been blocked”. The Washington Post could not independently verify his claims. Turmeric added The beleaguered Russian army had three options: try to escape, surrender, or risk being killed.

The town, which was home to more than 20,000 people in Donetsk region before the war, is one of four regions that Russia this week claimed to have illegally absorbed. Ukraine’s most significant success in the Donbass region would be a sign of victory as Russia concentrated the bulk of its forces there in the spring. Turmeric Added the nearby city of Kreminna, east of Liman in the Luhansk region, will be Ukraine’s next military target.

Overnight, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the nation that troops were having “substantial consequences” in the east and named Lehman as a prime example, thanking fighters there. “These steps are very important for us,” he added in a at night address

A Ukrainian captain collects Russian bodies and searches for bodies

Ukrainian military spokesman Cherevaty told The Post earlier this week that “almost all logistical routes” to the Lyman area are under Ukrainian control.

This tactic, known as kettling, involved laying siege to the city and leaving the occupying army with few exit strategies other than surrender. Towns and villages in the eastern Donbas region have few roads leading in and out, leaving invading forces unfamiliar with the area, especially vulnerable as they know of no alternative exit routes.

A member of the Ukrainian military shared a video with the post showing a destroyed column of Russian vehicles that may have tried to escape from Lyman after Ukrainian forces had already closed it. In the video, the bodies of Russian soldiers are lying on the side. way

Despite the patriotic pageantry during Friday’s grand Agreement signing ceremony Putin, who claims to have annexed parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions to Russia, has faced criticism at home over his military mobilization, with thousands of people shouting at the border and Running away to avoid call-ups He has also faced criticism for losing ground in northern Ukraine in the war.

Oleg Tsarov, Ukrainian separatist leader. Reported The situation in Limon on Twitter is a “bad backdrop” for the engagement ceremony. The loss of Lyman will likely reinforce the idea that the annexation may not reflect the reality on the ground, with only a weak military grip on them, as Russian forces have not fully controlled any of the four territories.

However, Putin made his disdain clear Speech He intended the land and population he annexed on Friday to be “permanently” part of Russia.

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He has previously said any attack on the annexed territory would be seen as an attack on Russia and threatened to “use all means at our disposal” to defend them – a prelude to possible nuclear use. On Friday, he made an ominous reference to the atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945, calling it a “precedent” for the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Zelensky, compared the 2014 siege of Lyman by Russian forces around the city of Ilovaisk in Donetsk. After that, “our people agreed to surrender without arms. But Russia broke its promise. The column was shot,” he wrote on Twitter. The situation was reversed today as Russian troops “demanded withdrawal from Lyman”.

Kostian Khudov in Kiev contributed to this report. Suliman reports from London. Dixon reported from Riga.

The War in Ukraine: What You Need to Know

Latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the order on Friday Added four occupied territories of Ukraine, after holding a referendum that was widely condemned as illegal. follow us Live updates here.

Response: The Biden administration on Friday a A new round of sanctions against Russia, in response to the annexation, targeted government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials, and defense procurement networks. President Volodymyr Zelensky also said on Friday that Ukraine is Applying for “quick ascension” to NATOIn clear reply to attachments.

In Russia: Putin announced military mobilization To call the maximum on September 21 300,000 reserve In a dramatic attempt to roll back the odds in his war on Ukraine. The announcement was made an exit of More than 180,000 peoplemostly who were subject to male serviceAnd Renewed demonstrations and other acts of disobedience against the war.

Fight: Mounted in Ukraine A successful counterattack That Forced a large Russian retreat into the northeastern Kharkiv region In early September, the army fled the towns and villages it had occupied since the early days of the war and A large amount of military equipment was released.

Photo: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground since the start of the war – Here are some of their most powerful functions.

How you can help: Here are ways they can in the US Support the Ukrainian people Also What people around the world are donating.

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