Ukraine: surrounded, Russian army announces “withdrawal” from Lyman in east of country

Ukraine: surrounded, Russian army announces “withdrawal” from Lyman in east of country

The Russian army announced on Saturday that it had “withdrawn” from the town of Lyman, a key railroad junction in eastern Ukraine, which Ukrainian soldiers said they had “surrounded” for the past few hours. “Threatened with encirclement, Allied troops were withdrawn from Lyman to more favorable lines,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. Earlier, the Ukrainians claimed to be “encroaching” on Lyman in the Donetsk region annexed by Moscow on Friday.

Towards a key victory for the Ukrainian Armed Forces

The Ukrainian army on Saturday entered Lyman, a strategic city in eastern Ukraine in the Donetsk region whose annexation by Moscow was sharply condemned by Kyiv and westerners the previous day. Kyiv also condemned the “illegal detention” of the head 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 announcement was made in the middle of the afternoon: “Ukrainian air raid troops are entering Lyman, Donetsk region,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter.

In a minute-long video accompanying the embassy, ​​two Ukrainian soldiers can be seen waving and then hanging the light blue and yellow national flag next to the “Lyman” sign at the city’s entrance. “We unfurl our national flag and place it on our territory. Lyman will always be a part of Ukraine,” one of the two soldiers said, smiling.

“Allied troops were threatened by Lyman with being surrounded and retreated to more favorable lines,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. According to a spokesman, “about 5,000 to 5,500 Russians” had barricaded themselves in and around Lyman in the past few days. The full capture of Lyman would be a crucial victory for Kyiv as it seized this key rail hub in the Donetsk region, which was annexed by Russia on Friday.

A region annexed by Russia

Following Moscow’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, Kyiv announced it would appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and “urged the Court to take up the case as soon as possible.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also announced that he would “sign Ukraine’s candidacy for accelerated NATO membership,” a decision supported by the United States and Canada.

“We strongly support the accession of countries that want to join NATO and can contribute their capacities,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, recalling “the process to be followed” for candidate countries. For his part, on Friday evening Russian President Vladimir Putin ended a day of celebrations of the annexation of Ukrainian lands. “Victory will be ours,” he said, microphone in hand, in front of several thousand people who had gathered for a celebratory concert on Moscow’s Red Square.

An “illegal detention” of the region according to Kyiv

Leaders of European Union countries issued a statement on Friday “rejecting” and “condemning” the “illegal annexation” of four Ukrainian regions. NATO condemned the “illegitimate” annexation, while the UN Security Council in New York considered a resolution condemning “pseudo-annexations” in Ukraine, which was immediately blocked by a Russian veto. US President Joe Biden has vowed that the United States and its allies will not be “intimidated” by Vladimir Putin.

Recent military successes on the Ukrainian side have also prompted the Russian president to order a “partial” mobilization of hundreds of thousands of civilian reservists to stem the dynamic in Kyiv. 22 civilians, including 10 children, were found dead on the ground in the Kharkiv region (northeast of Ukraine), the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said on Saturday. AFP saw at least 11 dead at the site on Friday.

Ukraine has also condemned 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. Kyiv demanded his “immediate release” in the face of “new state terrorism on the part of Russia”.

According to the head of Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom, Petro Kotin, Igor Murachov was detained by a “Russian patrol” around 4 p.m. (1300 GMT) as he was traveling from the plant to the Russian-controlled city of Ernogodar. According to him, the vehicle transporting the plant’s director was stopped and he was pulled out of the car and then “driven blindfolded to an unknown destination.” The fate of Igor Murachov was not known on Saturday afternoon.

Reference: www.europe1.fr

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