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Ukraine Wins Big at Lyman over Russia: What Does It Mean?

Ukraine Takes Control of Lyman After Russia “Annexes” Region: Russia’s proclaimed annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson has fallen flat for a multitude of reasons. Not only is the annexation not recognized by NATO or Ukraine, but Russian forces didn’t have full control of all these regions, to begin with.

Russian forces may be able to claim control of the vast majority of Luhansk Oblast for the time being, but in neighboring Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces are still being pushed out by Ukrainian forces using NATO-supplied weapons. This was made even more evident over the weekend after Ukrainian forces surrounded Russian troops stationed in the Ukrainian city of Lyman, only to successfully force those Russian soldiers to retreat.

“Redeployed to Body Bags”

The Ukrainian Armed Forces celebrated the victory in Lyman this weekend with a tweet, mocking Russian forces for their retreat.

“We thank the ‘Ministry of Defense’ of Russia for successful cooperation in organizing the ‘Izyum 2.0’ exercise,” the tweet reads.

“Almost all Russian troops deployed to Lyman were successfully redeployed either into body bags or into Ukrainian captivity. We have one question for you: Would you like a repeat?”

The tweet appeared to be a reference to Russia’s claim that troops in the region were being redeployed to “more favorable lines of defense,” a tacit admission that Russian forces could no longer hold their ground in Lyman.

Stoltenberg Celebrates Ukraine Capture of Lyman

Following Ukraine’s capture of Lyman, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg praised the efforts of the Ukrainian military and reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to helping Ukraine defend its territory.

“We have seen that they have been able to take a new town, Lyman, and that demonstrates that the Ukrainians are making progress, are able to push back the Russian forces because of the courage, because of their bravery, their skills, but of course also because of the advanced weapons that the United States and other allies are providing,” Stoltenberg said during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The NATO leader added that the best way to stop Russia’s annexation of four regions of Ukraine, which has not yet translated into Russia taking full control of the regions, is for NATO allies to continue providing support to Ukraine.

Stoltenberg was, however, less committal about the prospect of Ukraine being accepted as a member of NATO, explaining that acceptance into the military alliance can only occur when all 30 member states agree unanimously to allow it.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

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