Ukrainian soldiers found a scene of destruction and death after retaking the town of Lyman, in the breakaway region of Donetsk, last weekend. In addition to the bodies of their comrades, Ukrainian forces also found the corpses of Russian soldiers, who were left behind after the turn of the conflict.
teams of Associated Press they were in the city after the retaking of Ukraine and registered bodies around the place. According to the agency, Ukrainian soldiers collected bodies from their army, but left the Russian corpses where they were.
ATTENTION: the following images are strong
The bodies of Russian soldiers are lying in the streets of the key eastern city of Lyman following Moscow’s retreat to avoid their Ukrainian troops being encircled as Kyiv presses counteroffensives in the east and south. https://t.co/4VOhRdJmls
— AP Europe (@AP_Europe) October 4, 2022
Ukraine on Sunday claimed full control of the eastern logistics hub of Lyman, Kiev’s most significant battlefield gain in weeks. The fact implies a potential starting point for further attacks to the east while increasing pressure on the Kremlin even further.
The poignant setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin came after he proclaimed the annexation of four regions covering nearly a fifth of Ukraine, an area that includes Lyman. Kiev and the West condemned the proclamation as an illegitimate hoax.
“As of 12:30, Lyman has been fully released,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a short video on his Telegram channel. “Thanks to our troops… Glory to Ukraine!”
Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday it was withdrawing troops from the area “in connection with creating a threat of siege”.
It did not mention the city in its daily update on fighting in Ukraine on Sunday, although it said Russian forces had destroyed seven artillery and missile depots in Ukraine’s Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Donetsk regions.
Russian forces captured Lyman from Ukraine in May and used it as a logistics and transport hub for their operations in the northern Donetsk region. Losing it is Russia’s biggest battlefield defeat since Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in northeastern Kharkiv last month.
Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Donetsk’s neighboring Luhansk region, said control over Lyman could be a “key factor” in helping Ukraine regain lost territory in its region, whose full capture Moscow announced in early July, after weeks of overwhelming advances.
The UK Ministry of Defense described Lyman as operationally important for commanding a major road crossing over the Siverskyi Donets River, behind which Russia has been trying to consolidate its defences.
Russia likely suffered heavy casualties during the withdrawal, the ministry said in a statement. Russia had 5,000 to 5,500 troops in the city before the Ukrainian attack, a spokesman for eastern Ukraine forces said on Saturday.
The areas Putin claimed as annexed – the Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as Kherson and Zaporizhzhia in the south – form a territorial swath equivalent to 18% of Ukraine’s total surface.
* With information from Reuters
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