On Sunday, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that Lyman province was under the control of their forces. Speaking at Moscow’s Red Square, Putin had proclaimed the provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to be Russian territory, but within two days, Ukraine recaptured Lyman, Russia’s main bastion in the province.
Ukraine’s media shared images of the country’s yellow and blue flag in front of the statue signifying the village of Torske. Russia’s loss of its transport and logistics hub in the eastern city of Lyman is likely to change the direction of the armed conflict significantly. Moscow had previously announced the relocation of its forces to a more favourable position.
As Russia and Ukraine enter the 222nd day of war, Ukrainian forces recaptured the Arkhanhelske and Myrolyubivka provinces in the Kherson region, in the south, along the western bank of Dnipro River, on Monday. This means that Russia does not hold full powers over the territory that it announced it annexed on Friday.
Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russian-imposed authority in occupied Kherson, said in his post on Telegram:
“Everything is under control in the Mykolaiv direction, despite attempts by the Ukronazis to break through the defences. The Nazis advanced along the Dnieper in the direction of Dudchan and there they received gifts from the Russian Aerospace Forces. At the moment the situation is completely under control.”
However, Vladimir Saldo, head of the Russian-imposed authority, reportedly admitted on Russian television about Ukraine capturing parts of the region. Over the past few months, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been countering the failures in the battlefield through announcing the annexation of occupied territories, issuing threats of nuclear attacks, and proclaiming thousands of men as reservists.
The advancement in Kherson province is Ukraine’s biggest in the south of the country since the conflict began. Reuters reports confirmed that Ukrainian forces have captured numerous settlements along the river, as far as the village of Dudchany. The Ukrainian forces have possibly captured more settlements along Dnipro River, but Kyiv officials remain silent.
As Ukraine’s forces continue to capture the ‘new Russian territory’, Kremlin insiders are supposedly unaware of the boundary, and would consult the people on how it should be drawn. This confusion comes in as Russia is unable to confirm whether it is claiming all of the occupied regions of Ukraine, or only the ones that are controlled by its forces.
Meanwhile, EU ambassadors are meeting to discuss the latest package of sanctions against Russia, notably a price cap on Russian seaborne oil exports, along with roadblocks put up by Hungary, Cyprus, Greece and Malta.