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Russia’s defense ministry claimed on Saturday it has captured the strategic city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine as Russian forces seek to encircle thousands of Ukrainian soldiers in the nearby city of Severodonetsk, where block-to-block fighting is reportedly underway. But she was furious.

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Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a Statement “The town of Krasny Lyman has been completely liberated from Ukrainian nationalists,” refers to the city by its former Soviet name.

Russia’s control of Lyman gives it access to major bridges over the Siversky Donets River, according To the British Ministry of Defence, which also stated that the capture was potentially “a preliminary operation for the next phase of the Donbass invasion of Russia”.

Lyman, a town of about 20,000 people, is on a road leading to other populated cities in the Donetsk region, such as Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, and is 35 miles west of the strategic city of Severodonetsk, which, if annexed, would destroy the whole of Russia. will get control of. Luhansk region.

Russian troops launched direct attacks on Severodnetsk’s “built-up areas” on Friday without completely encircling the city, meaning Russian troops “will likely struggle to take land in the city,” according Institute for the Study of War.

Serhi Heyde, head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, Told Saturday Severodnetsk “was not cut,” but was down intense fire As soon as Russian troops entered the city.

Russian troops had captured the city’s bus station and the largest hotel, but did not take the city hall, Heyde reported. new York TimesAnd he said a major route into the city – a bridge over Donets – remains in Ukrainian hands.

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