The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged the withdrawal to move to “more advantageous positions”.
A day after Vladimir Putin put on a show to sign the annexation of four Ukrainian regions after a speech in which he urged kyiv to “immediately cease hostilities” and negotiate, Russian troops withdrew this Saturday from the pro-Russian bastion of Limán, in the Donetsk region, to avoid being completely surrounded by the Ukrainian Army.
“Due to the risk of being surrounded, the allied forces have been withdrawn from the town of Liman to more advantageous positions,” says the statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense, thus admitting its second major defeat in the last month in Ukraine.
limenunder Russian control since May, is a major railway junction leading both to the Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk and to the pro-Russian area in neighboring Luhansk.
The official note from Russia highlights that the Russian artillery has caused numerous casualties to the Ukrainian 66th and 93rd Mechanized Brigades, in addition to destroying tanks and other military vehicles. But he admitted that, “despite the losses suffered, having superior forces and resources, the enemy introduced reinforcements and continued its offensive in that direction.”
According to the administration loyal to kyiv, there were about 5,000 men in Limán, although neither Moscow nor the pro-Russians have specified any figure.
Before signing the annexation treaty in the Kremlin on Friday, the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilinreported that he had received “alarming news” from Limán.
The pro-Russian confirmed this Saturday the Russian attempts to “unblock” the city with intense bombing by the forces of the Southern Military District. This is the second major defeat suffered by the Russian Army and the pro-Russian militias in the last month.
On September 8, Russian forces also had to withdraw from the northeastern region of Kharkiv, paving the way for the Ukrainians to advance towards Liman.
That setback, added to the withdrawal from northern kyiv in April, caused great discomfort among Russian ultranationalists and led to the partial mobilization decree signed in the middle of the month by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin’s show in the Kremlin
Putin and the four leaders of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia each in turn signed the annexation documents before an audience made up of members of the government, deputies and senators and other members of the political elite, before holding hands and chant in unison “Russia!” .
“The inhabitants of Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia become our citizens forever,” Putin said. “The people voted for our common future,” he added.
“We will defend our land with all the forces and means at our disposal, we will do everything to guarantee the safe life of our people, it is the great liberation mission of our people,” Putin said, noting that he will not discuss the choice made by these “peoples”, whom “Russia will not betray”.
The annexation comes after referendums held from September 23 to 27 in the occupied regions of Donetsk and Lugansk in the east, and Kherson and Zaporizhia in the south, denounced as “farces” by kyiv and its allies.
In his speech before the signing of the annexation, Putin urged Ukraine to cease hostilities. “We urge the kyiv regime to immediately stop shooting, all hostilities and return to the negotiating table,” Putin told government officials, deputies and senators and other state representatives in the Kremlin.
Without a victory to show for it, after almost eight months of war, and with the recent and unpopular mobilization of 300,000 men to fight at the front and turn the war around, Putin put on a show this Friday, with a concert in Red Square included. , to display a fictitious victory: the annexation of four regions of Ukraine, equivalent to 15% of the country.
Confirmation from the EFE Agency