War in Ukraine: Lyman, a major setback for Russia

Ukrainian troops retook the town of Lyman, a strategic outpost in the Donetsk region, on Sunday. For NATO’s Secretary General, this proves that the Ukrainians are “capable of repulsing Russian troops.”

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V.SThis week, new Ukrainian flags will fly over the Donbass. In a video broadcast Saturday evening on social networks, Volodymyr Zelensky expected a major breakthrough on the ground in a few hours, Lyman’s recovery. At noon on Sunday, new news: “The city has been completely cleared of the Russian army. A significant setback for Vladimir Putin, just 48 hours after the alleged annexation of Ukrainian territories.

On a strategic level, the loss of Lyman in the annexed area of ​​Donetsk was a major setback for Russia, which at this point could not control all of the territory it occupied in Ukraine. In an interview with NBC, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized: “The acquisition of Lyman shows that the Ukrainians are making progress and that they are capable of repulsing Russian troops. Thanks to their courage, their forces, but also thanks to the weapons that the United States and other NATO countries provide them. »

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According to the newspaper the world, France is preparing to deliver new Caesar rifles to Ukraine. On Sunday, Germany, Denmark and Norway announced that they would supply sixteen armored car artillery guns starting next year to Kyiv, which wants to bolster its heavy military arsenal to fend off Russia. The announcement follows German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht’s trip to Ukraine this weekend, her first since the February 24 Russian invasion. Kyiv demanded more, especially German Panther tanks, which the government of President Olaf Scholes refused to deliver. The latter actually declared that such a decision was not entirely his responsibility and would have to be discussed with his Western allies first.

A Russian Retreat to the South?

According to experts of the Institute for the Study of War, the Russians, in difficulty, are now trying to protect the territories they occupy in southern Ukraine as a priority. “Vladimir Putin is trying to protect his strategic positions in the south, in Kherson or Zaporizhia, rather than in Luhansk. The loss of Lyman, an important railway junction that allowed the supply of troops, caused a serious problem for the Russian forces, forcing them to establish defenses and a new front line.

Map fights

By recapturing Lyman, Ukrainian troops are continuing a counteroffensive launched a month ago that, according to the Ukrainian president, has helped them reclaim more than 6,000 km2 of territory. Especially in the direction of Kharkiv, the city of Issyum is the main catchment. In this ruined city, deminers are busy. Tracking mines and other explosives, small and dangerous, were hidden by Russian forces.

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In Izioum, deminers are busy

An Agence France-Presse journalist followed teams trying to “clean everything up by winter” so that vital services like electricity could be repaired. “But no one knows how long it will take. Despite the help of international organizations, we have not finished finding abandoned mines since the beginning of the first phase of the conflict in 2014,” explains the head of the operation, Vasyl Melnik.

Since Izioum’s liberation, his teams have covered about 100 hectares in the district and discovered more than 5,000 mines around positions previously occupied by the Russians. Deminers found both anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines and artillery shells, as well as PFM-1 mines, known as “butterfly” mines, which are particularly destructive and banned by an international treaty to which Russia is not a party. These little green tunnels with wings, called “petals” in Ukraine, “can be picked up by children,” insists Vasyl Melnyk.

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