Ukraine retakes Lyman, the Russian judiciary confirms the annexation treaties

Ukraine retakes Lyman, the Russian judiciary confirms the annexation treaties

Ukraine announced on Sunday it had taken over the town of Lyman in Russia’s annexed Donetsk region, as Russia’s constitutional court validated deals signed by Vladimir Putin to annex Ukrainian lands.

The announcement came in the middle of the day: “As of 12:30 local time (09:30 GMT), Lyman is completely rid of (by the Russian army). Thanks to our soldiers,” President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed in a video posted to social media.

“I’m optimistic and very motivated. I see the activities on the front lines and the areas that are being retaken,” said a 33-year-old Ukrainian soldier stationed near Lyman in the eastern Ukraine region, walking past his nom de was “smoke”.

On Saturday, Ukrainian soldiers invaded this strategic city in the Donetsk region, whose annexation by Moscow was strongly condemned by Kyiv and the West on Friday.

In anticipation of that important tactical victory, as Lyman is a key rail hub, Mr Zelensky had assured Saturday night that “new Ukrainian flags” would appear next week [flotteraient] on the Donbass”, where the Donetsk region is located.

Then he launched, addressing Russian soldiers and officials, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Until you all solve the problem of who started it all, who started this senseless war against Ukraine, you will be one after the other killed others.”

The loss of Lyman in the annexed Donetsk region is a major setback for the Russian army, which at this point is unable to control all of the areas in Ukraine it occupies.

– Contracts “constitutional” –

Despite the difficulties on the ground that Russia has encountered since the launch of a successful counteroffensive by Kiev in early September, the legal process to formalize the annexation of the Ukrainian territories is moving ahead in Moscow.

After Mr Putin and the leaders of the separatist and occupied territories signed the annexation treaties on Friday with great fanfare in the Kremlin, Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled them “in accordance with the constitution” on Sunday.

According to Duma spokesman Vyacheslav Volodin, deputies in the lower house of the Russian parliament will consider a draft law on ratification of the treaties on Monday.

The passage of this text is usually scheduled for later, before it passes the upper house of parliament, the Council of the Federation.

However, the annexation of Ukrainian territories by Russia is not recognized by the international community.

Pope Francis therefore “begged” Mr. Putin to “stop” the “spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine while deploring the “illegal” annexations.

For the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories “makes the end of the war much more difficult, almost impossible”.

French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking to Mr Zelenskyy on Sunday, vowed to work on “new European sanctions” against Moscow.

To strengthen Ukraine’s military arsenal and ward off Russia, Germany, Denmark and Norway announced on Sunday that they would supply Kyiv with sixteen armored auto-artillery pieces, Zuzana-2 Slovaks, from 2023.

– “Nepotism” –

The difficulties that the troops in Moscow have been facing for several weeks have provoked violent reactions from the most vocal Russian warmongers.

For example, the pro-Kremlin leader of Russia’s Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on Saturday urged the Russian army to use “low-power nuclear weapons” in Ukraine after the Russians withdrew from Lyman.

He also attacked what he saw as “nepotism” within the Russian armed forces, one of the main reasons for the military difficulties the troops in Moscow have been facing in recent weeks.

“There is no place for nepotism in the army, especially in difficult times,” he vowed in a virulent message posted on social media.

Ukraine also condemned on Saturday the “illegal detention” of the general director of the Zaporijia (South) nuclear power plant, Igor Murachov, who was arrested on Friday for an as yet unknown reason by Russia, which controls the site.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, spoke in a statement of “serious concern”.

Mr Grossi “is expected to travel to Kyiv and Moscow next week,” the statement continued.


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