Russia withdrew its troops from the strategic city of Lyman in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on Saturday, a day after President Vladimir Putin hailed the annexation of Donetsk.
The retreat, announced by the Defense Ministry in Moscow, comes as Kyiv’s counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion makes further gains and presents a big setback for Putin.
Due to “a threat of encirclement, allied troops were withdrawn” from Lyman “to more advantageous lines,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday in a Telegram post.
Putin on Friday proclaimed the annexation of Donetsk along with three other regions, following referendums that Western countries declared a “sham.”
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry earlier Saturday said Ukrainian Air Assault Forces were entering Lyman. The Ukrainian army “has and will always have the decisive vote in today’s and any future ‘referendums’,” the ministry said on Twitter, posting a video of what appear to be Ukrainian soldiers raising their country’s flag at the outskirts of the city. [Continue reading…]