Putin suffers Ukraine’s most humiliating defeat yet around the main city of Lyman in Donetsk

Moscow celebrated Annexation of large areas of eastern Ukraine Friday But President Vladimir Putin’s party was destroyed by a blitzkrieg counterattack that may have been trapped thousands of his men In a major city now assumed to be part of Russia.

“This is the will of millions of people,” Putin said at a glamorous ceremony in front of the top Russian diplomats still in the country. “The people who live in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhya region have become our citizens forever.”

But while he was gloating, Ukrainian sources claimed that the strategic city of Lyman, which served as the Russian army In Donetsk, it was cordoned off and the supply lines were cut off. The operation to encircle the Russian group is at the completion stage, Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said on Friday. This claim cannot be independently verified, but if confirmed, it would be one of the most serious Russian military losses of the war to date.

Forces loyal to the Kremlin have acknowledged that the Ukrainians have made significant gains in the region and are on the verge of cutting off the Russian staging post in northern Donetsk, which has been under Russian control since July. An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted that Russian forces would have to “ask out of Lyman” if they wanted to surrender, adding: “Only if those in the Kremlin are worried about their soldiers, of course.”

Ukraine said earlier in the week that it had made deep gains in its stronghold area and was on the verge of retaking the area – despite Putin’s claims that the area now belongs to an enlarged Russia.

Speaking after Putin officially announced that four partially Russian-controlled enclaves would fall into the country against all international law, Zelensky vowed to restore them.

“The entire territory of our country will be liberated from this enemy – not only the enemy of Ukraine, but also the enemy of life itself, humanity, law and truth,” he said.

Moscow’s recent military humiliation will continue to fuel speculation that Putin may decide to launch new and more brutal attacks.

Russian state television political editor Maxim Yusin warned that Putin intends to push the button of a nuclear attack in the “coming days or weeks,” adding that people should “have fun because it would be a shame to live the remaining time with pessimism.”

Military analysts say regaining control of Lyman could boost morale and prompt the Ukrainian army to move to Luhansk province, which is the heart of the Donbass industrial region. Putin plans to annex Donbass after the fake referendum, which Western intelligence sources say was mostly held at gunpoint.

The Ukrainian army outlined a large-scale counterattack. “If the Lyman falls, our troops can … cut off the main supply corridor of the Russian troops in Severodonetsk and Lyseshansk [in Luhansk]said the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army on Telegram.

Britain’s MoD said the gains came at the same time as a massive supply case for Russians. “It is possible that the medical supplies of Russian combat forces in Ukraine will worsen,” the Defense Ministry said Friday in its weekly assessment of the war. “Some of the newly mobilized Russian reservists have been ordered to supply combat first aid supplies, with the advice that feminine hygiene products are a cost-effective solution.”

Among other issues, theft appears to be, as some new soldiers use zip ties to secure their tourniquet supplies, rather than standard Velcro attachments, making them easier to steal. “This would almost certainly impede or make it impossible to apply timely tourniquet care in the event of catastrophic battlefield bleeding,” the DOD statement claims. “The lack of confidence of the Russian forces in the provision of adequate medical services almost certainly contributes to the deterioration of morale and the unwillingness to conduct offensive operations in many units in Ukraine.”

The British military also notes that more Russians have fled across the border than they actually fought in the war to date after conscription was introduced. “The better off and the educated are highly represented among those trying to leave Russia,” they said. When combining these mobilized reserves, the domestic economic impact of reduced labor availability and an acceleration of ‘brain drain’ is likely to become increasingly significant.

Meanwhile, plans for an annexation ceremony continue in Moscow on Friday.

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