5,000 Russian soldiers surrounded in Lyman after Ukrainian offensive

Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have cut off Lyman, a key base of Russian forces (Image: AFP/Reuters)

More than 5,000 Russian soldiers are surrounded overnight after a massive Ukrainian offensive.

Kiev’s troops have pushed further into Donetsk in recent days and weeks to repel the invading forces.

Efforts focused on recapturing Lyman, a Russian-held town that serves as the main military bastion in the north of the semi-occupied region.

A breakthrough would mean a tactical and symbolic victory for Ukraine just 24 hours after Vladimir Putin tried to claim that Donetsk had been taken over by Russia.

As many as 5,500 Russian troops could be trapped in the city, although that number has likely fallen as casualties and smaller units broke out of the encirclement.

It serves as the main logistics and transportation hub for operations in the region and plays a crucial tactical role for the Kremlin.

Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesman for Ukraine’s Eastern Armed Forces, said: “The Russian group in the Lyman area is surrounded.

“Lyman is important because it is the next step in liberating Ukraine’s Donbass.

“It’s an opportunity to go further to Kreminna and Sievierodonetsk and it’s very important psychologically.”

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He claimed that Russian troops told their commanders to retreat but were told they had to hold their positions.

Efforts are being made to break out of the encirclement, he said, and it appears fierce fighting is continuing in the area this morning.

If confirmed, it would be another military disaster for the Kremlin after a backlash that has seen Kiev’s forces return to Donetsk in recent weeks.

A major counter-offensive sent the Kremlin panicking, prompting Mr Putin to call in hundreds of thousands of reservists to shore up his faltering army.

Mr Putin tried to claim that he had successfully annexed Donetsk along with Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia this week.

epa10216111 Television screens show a live broadcast of Russian President Vladimir Putin delivering his speech to people after a ceremony to sign treaties on new territories joining Russia in downtown Moscow, Russia, September 30, 2022. President Putin declared that there are four new regions in Russia when he signed the formal annexation of Ukraine's Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions. On September 23-27, residents of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics and the Russian-controlled areas of the Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia voted in a so-called

Vladimir Putin tried to claim victory yesterday, but in reality his army is lagging behind (Image: EPA)

Mock referendums were held yesterday ahead of a big celebration in Moscow’s Red Square.

A huge crowd was bussed in to listen to music and Mr Putin made a speech calling for a “victory” after seven months of war.

But dissatisfaction with the war is growing at home because of the rising death toll and botched mobilization.

In a rare admission of weakness, Mr Putin accepted that people unfit for military service had been forcibly recruited in recent weeks.

MORE : ‘Putin is overrated’: Why Russia is losing and how future wars will be won

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/01/5000-russian-soldiers-surrounded-in-lyman-after-ukrainian-offensive-17484825/ 5,000 Russian soldiers surrounded in Lyman after Ukrainian offensive

Justin Scacco

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