Russia has pulled out of the vital Ukrainian town of Lyman, which is considered as a major setback for its eastern war.
According to Russia’s defense ministry, the retreat was prompted by worries that the town would be surrounded by hundreds of soldiers.
Lyman’s recapture might enable Ukrainian troops to enter more hostile terrain in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Volodymyr Zelenky, president of Ukraine, declared on Sunday that Russian troops had “completely cleared” the town.
Before the Russian retreat was made public, video uploaded online on Saturday showed Ukrainian forces on the outskirts of the town waving their flag.
Lyman was important to Ukrainian forces since it had been exploited by Russia as a logistical base.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the hardline friend of Moscow and leader of the Chechen nation, said in response to the defeat on the battlefield that Russia should think about utilizing low-yield nuclear weapons.
Lyman currently resides in Donetsk, one of the four Ukrainian districts that Russia said it will take on Friday. The action has been criticized by Ukraine and its Western supporters as an illegitimate territorial grab.
Following days of fierce battle, an adviser to Ukraine’s defense minister previously told the BBC that recent victories near Lyman were a “considerable success”
Yurik Sak claimed that Russian forces had the option to give up and that they would receive better treatment as prisoners of war than from the Russian military hierarchy.
Using the town’s former Soviet name of Krasnyi (Red) Lyman, the Kremlin announced shortly after that it was removing its troops from the area, recognizing that the Ukrainians had “significant superiority in forces” there.
According to military analysts, Kyiv presently has the upper hand in the conflict and has vowed to press on with a counteroffensive to retake all occupied area.
Mr. Zelensky claimed in a speech on Friday that efforts to “liberate our entire land” would serve as evidence that international law could not be broken.