Russian President Putin’s effort to beat the clock against Ukraine military advances does NOT work….
See my Analysis below…
The beginning of the end of the conflict maybe have started….
Russian forces withdrew from the strategic eastern city of Lyman on Saturday, a significant setback just a day after President Vladimir V. Putin’s internationally derided declaration that the region where it lies was now part of Russia.
The battle for Lyman, a city in Donetsk Province with a pre-war population of 20,000, is particularly poorly timed for the Kremlin after it illegally declared its annexation of four regions in Ukraine where battles are raging and Kyiv’s stunning victories in the country’s northeast last month.
It puts additional pressure on the Kremlin, which has been facing blowback at home over its setbacks on the battlefield and the conscription of hundreds of thousands of men to fight in Ukraine.
Hours after Ukraine’s defense ministry said its forces were entering the city, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said in it had made the decision to pull out of Lyman. Confirmation of the withdrawal staved off a potential worst-case scenario for the Kremlin in which Russian troops were trapped in the city.
“Due to the risk to be encircled, the allied forces were withdrawn” from the city to “more advantageous” locations, the ministry said in a statement posted on Telegram.
The acknowledgment came after Ukraine’s Defense Ministry posted a video on Twitter showing two soldiers unfurling the country’s yellow-and-blue flag at a sign marking the city limits. The army “will always have the decisive vote in today’s and any future ‘referendums,’” it added in a pointed reference to the annexation process.
A senior Ukrainian military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Lyman was “already liberated.”
“A mop-up is ongoing,” the official said. “The Russians have nowhere to run.”….
Here’s what we know:
The loss of the strategic rail hub in the east is particularly poorly timed for the Kremlin after its internationally derided illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions.
Russia’s withdrawal from Lyman comes a day after Putin said he was annexing the region.
Broken glass, blown-out tires and a crater show the violence of a deadly attack in Zaporizhzhia.
At least 24 are dead, including 13 children, in an attack on a convoy in northeastern Ukraine, the authorities say.
Here’s why Russia’s retreat from Lyman matters.
Russia has detained the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s director general, its operator says.
Intercepted calls reveal the Russian army in disarray.
Maps: Tracking the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
- The International Atomic Energy Agency said Russian authorities had “temporarily detained” the director general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear for questioning. An IAEA official told The Washington Post that the nuclear watchdog, which has some staffers on-site, had sought clarification from Russian authorities after reports that he had been missing. Russian forces control the plant in the Zaporizhzhia region of southeastern Ukraine, while Ukrainian workers operate it.
- Ukraine is applying for “accelerated ascension” into NATO, President Volodymyr Zelensky said after Russia’s move to absorb swaths of his country. The remarks may be more symbolic than practical: A speedy admittance of Ukraine to the military alliance would require members to immediately send troops to fight Russia, under collective defense obligations.
- A U.N. resolution calling on “all states” not to recognize Russian annexation failed to pass at the Security Council on Friday after Russia’s veto. Four nations, including China and India, abstained from voting on the resolution, which condemned Russia’s “illegal, so-called referenda” in Ukraine.
- Kharkiv’s governor said suspected Russian shelling hit a convoy of cars in the northeastern region on Saturday. Oleh Synyehubov said preliminary reports indicated 20 people were killed. Much of the northeast region came back under Ukrainian control last month after a lightning counteroffensive and Russian retreat.
- The regions claimed by Russia are in Ukraine’s east and southeast. Here are three maps that explain Russia’s annexation and losses in Ukraine.
- A suspected Russian missile strike tore through a convoy in Zaporizhzhia, killing at least 25 people on Friday. The attack left the war’s latest victims lying in body bags on the cold ground.
- The United States sees no indications Russia is about to use nuclear weapons but is taking the threat“very seriously,” U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday. “We do not presently see indications about the imminent use of nuclear weapons,” he told reporters. “But this is something that we are attuned to taking very seriously and communicating directly with Russia about.”
Putin Supporters Enraged by Military’s Retreat
“Two powerful supporters of President Vladimir Putin turned on Russia’s military leadership on Saturday after it ordered a retreat from a key city in eastern Ukraine, a striking sign of dissent within the Russian elite that comes as the Kremlin tries to project an image of strength and unity,” the New York Times reports.
If you study the maps here?
It becomes evident that if the Ukraine military holds Lyman and swings south into the Donesk Oblast to Mariupol?
The Russian troops would be locked in and could only escape back over the Crimea bridge to Russia….
This could essentially end the Russian effort in the Ukraine in a humilating defeat….
image…..Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times