Of . – 10/01/2022 18:22 (act 10/01/2022 20:41)
Chechen ruler Kadyrov criticizes the withdrawal and calls for the use of nuclear weapons. ©AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev
In yet another defeat by the Ukrainian army, Russia relinquished the strategically important city of Lyman in the Donetsk region. Meanwhile, the ruler of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, called for the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine to be examined.
Armed forces were withdrawn from the town of Lyman because of the risk of siege, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow on Saturday. Ukrainian authorities had already spoken of about 5,000 Russian soldiers besieged. So some soldiers tried to escape the siege.
Fierce fight for the Ukrainian city of Lyman
For weeks, Lyman was bitterly fought. After the defeat in the northern Ukraine region of Kharkiv and their withdrawal from there, Russian troops tried to build a new front line along the Oskil and Siverskyi Donets rivers. Lyman as the nearest town opposite the Kyiv-held conurbation of Sloviansk – Kramatorsk was considered important in this regard. On the one hand, to be able to launch attacks in the north of the Donbass region, on the other, as a barrier to a Ukrainian counter-offensive.
After intense fighting, the city fell on Saturday. Ukrainian units raised the blue and yellow national flag at Lyman. The Ukrainians had already taken the city with pliers. Attacks were launched from the west as well as from the north and south. The Russians’ only supply and withdrawal link to the east via Zarichne and Torske was attacked by Ukrainian artillery. Under these circumstances, it is unclear how many Russian soldiers died or were taken prisoner.
Ukrainian troops reportedly surrounded 5,000 Russian soldiers
According to their own statements, Ukrainian troops surrounded about 5,000 Russian soldiers. That was the status on Saturday morning, said the head of Ukraine’s Luhansk administration, Serhiy Hajdaj. “The occupiers asked their leaders to leave if they could, and they were rejected,” he said. “They now have three options: either they can try to flee or surrender. Or they all die together. There are about 5,000 of them, there is no exact number.”
Russia took Lyman, where 20,000 people lived before the start of the war in May. It was then expanded into a military transport and logistics center. After the Russian defeat at Kharkiv, the city was considered so important that the Russian leadership wanted to keep it as long as possible, at least until the declaration of annexation of the four Ukrainian regions of Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation at a ceremony at the Kremlin on Friday. No state recognizes this violation of international law. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that all occupied territories would be liberated. For this, it relies on heavy weapons from the West and military advisers from NATO countries.
Kadyrov wants to use “low-yield” nuclear weapons
The ruler of the Russian Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, called for the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine to be examined. On Telegram on Saturday, Kadyrov criticized Russian commanders for withdrawing from Lyman. “In my personal opinion, more drastic measures must be taken, including the imposition of martial law in border regions and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons.”
Ukrainian authorities have accused the Russian army of killing 24 people – including 13 children – when it bombed a civilian motorcade near the city of Kupyansk. Civilians tried to escape Russian attacks, Ukrainian regional governor Oleh Sinegubov said on Saturday on the Telegram news channel. “This is cruelty that has no justification.” The death toll initially given as 20 later rose to 24. Investigators and experts went to the scene in the Kharkiv region to investigate the case, Sinegubow said.
Mutual Claims in the Ukraine War
Moscow, in turn, accused Kyiv of shooting fleeing civilians. The information provided by both sides could not be independently verified. However, even after the withdrawal of Russian troops, who suffered a heavy defeat in September, the area continued to be heavily bombed. According to Ukrainian sources, 30 people were killed in a rocket attack on a convoy of civilian cars in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia on Friday.
Head of Zaporizhia nuclear power plant arrested
The missing head of the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Ihor Murashov, is said to have been temporarily detained by the occupiers for questioning. The UN nuclear agency IAEA learned this from Russian authorities. No additional details were given. Ukraine’s state energy agency Energoatom said Murashov was arrested by a Russian patrol on Friday. Russia has occupied the nuclear plant since the beginning of March. Kyiv demanded Murashov’s immediate release.
The British secret service announced that Moscow is now using anti-missiles in its ground offensive in Ukraine, which are actually intended to shoot down aircraft or other missiles. Such a long-range anti-aircraft missile was also used in an attack on the civilian convoy southeast of Zaporizhia. For British experts, this is a sign of a shortage of ammunition on the Russian side, as these missiles are strategically valuable and are only available in limited quantities.
More aid announced for Ukraine
Meanwhile, the World Bank announced more aid worth 530 million dollars (543.7 million euros) for Ukraine. This raises the total amount of aid provided to $13 billion, he said. Eleven billion dollars have already been mobilized.