Lyman and Its Significance in Ukraine War
Russian military bloggers claim that the Ukrainian forces have completed the encirclement of Lyman in eastern Ukraine.
For the past few days, the Ukrainian military has been pushing from two directions on the Lyman salient. From the southeast, Ukrainian forces advanced to the north, while from the northwest, Ukrainian forces advanced to the south. These two axes of advance seemed to have linked up on the east of Lyman, thus trapping the Russian forces in a cauldron. All the while, Ukrainian forces have been attacking Lyman from the west, pinning down the Russian defenses and making their work that much harder.
Should the Russian forces inside the cauldron fail to break out or Russian forces outside fail to break the encirclement and Lyman falls to the Ukrainian forces, any announcements about the annexations of the Ukrainian provinces will be overshadowed, to say the least.
Moreover, Russian morale across the battlefield will plummet. The Russian forces can’t afford another humiliating defeat so close to the loss of the Kharkiv positions. But the Russian forces can’t afford the loss of the materiel and troops too. Despite the partial mobilization of 300,000 troops, the Russian military is severely lacking in advanced weapon systems as most of them have been destroyed in the fierce fighting of the past seven months. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian forces are getting stronger by the day, safe in knowing that the U.S. and NATO are supporting them with weapon systems and other equipment.
The Russian Casualties in Ukraine
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense claimed that as of Friday, Ukrainian forces have killed approximately 59,080 Russian troops (and wounded approximately thrice that number), destroyed 264 fighter, attack, and transport jets, 225 attack and transport helicopters, 2,338 tanks, 1,391 artillery pieces, 4,932 armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles, 333 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), 15 boats and cutters, 3,768 vehicles and fuel tanks, 176 anti-aircraft batteries, 1,003 tactical unmanned aerial systems, 131 special equipment platforms, such as bridging vehicles, and four mobile Iskander ballistic missile systems, and 246 cruise missiles shot down by the Ukrainian air defenses.
Independence and Annexation
In an elaborate ceremony on Friday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces to Russia. According to Moscow, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia are now part of Russia after the referenda that they held the previous days.
It is obvious, however, that no one will recognize the annexations.
“The UK will never recognise Russia’s illegal annexations in Ukraine. Russia doesn’t even control some of these oblasts. The truth is Russia is losing in Ukraine and their incompetent Generals are sending thousands to their deaths to please President Putin’s imperialist fantasy,” British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. He is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Cybersecurity at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.