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The bodies of Russian soldiers lie in the city recaptured by Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers are collecting the bodies of their comrades in Lyman, a town in Donetsk, but are reportedly not removing the Russians immediately.

The bodies of Russian soldiers lay in the streets of a key city in eastern Ukraine after their comrades’ retreat marked Moscow’s latest defeat.

The Ukrainian military collected the bodies of their comrades on Tuesday after fierce battles for control of Lyman, a key transportation and logistics hub, but did not immediately take those of the Russians, according to reports.

As Russia moved forward with the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, its troops withdrew from Lyman on Saturday to avoid being encircled by Ukrainian forces. The liberation of the city gave Ukraine a key leverage point to drive its offensive deeper into Russian-held territories.

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Residents of Lyman emerged from the cellars where they hid during the battle for the town and built fires to cook. The town has been without water, electricity or gas since May.

Ukrainian military.
A Ukrainian military man smokes a cigarette after identifying the body of a comrade in Lyman [Evgeniy Maloletka/AP Photo]

“We fight for our land, for our children, so that our people can live better, but all this comes at a very high price,” said a Ukrainian soldier who goes by the nom de guerre Rud.

An 85-year-old woman, who identified herself as Valentyna Kuzmichna, recalled a recent explosion nearby.

“I was standing in the corridor, about 5 meters away, when it exploded,” he said. “God forbid, I can’t hear right now.”

Counteroffensives continue

Russian forces launched more missile attacks on Ukrainian cities on Tuesday as Ukrainian forces pressed their counteroffensives in the east and south.

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Several missiles hit Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, damaging its infrastructure and causing power outages. Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov said one person was killed and at least two others, including a nine-year-old girl, were injured.INTERACTIVE Which regions of Ukraine is Russia annexing?

In the south, four civilians were injured when Russian missiles hit the city of Nikopol.

After regaining control of Lyman in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian forces pushed further east and may have reached as far as the border of the neighboring Luhansk region as they advanced towards Kreminna, the Institute for the Study of War said. based in the US in its latest report. analysis.

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On Monday, Ukrainian forces also made significant gains in the south, raising flags over the villages of Arkhanhelske, Myroliubivka, Khreshchenivka, Mykhalivka and Novovorontsovka.

Ukraine’s successes in the east and south came even as Russia moved to absorb four Ukrainian regions amid fighting there.

Annexation

The Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, voted on Tuesday to ratify treaties to make the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia regions part of Russia.

The lower house quickly approved the accession pacts after last week’s Kremlin-orchestrated annexation “referendums” that Ukraine and its Western allies have dismissed as illegal and fraudulent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to quickly approve the annexation treaties.

Russia’s moves to incorporate the Ukrainian regions have been made so hastily that even the exact borders of the absorbed territories were unclear.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Donetsk and Lugansk will join Russia with the same administrative borders that existed before a conflict broke out in 2014 between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces. He said that the borders of Zaporizhia and Kherson are not yet decided.

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But a senior Russian lawmaker offered a different opinion. Pavel Krasheninnikov said that Zaporizhia will be absorbed with its “administrative borders”, meaning that Moscow plans to incorporate parts of the region still under Kyiv’s control. He said a similar logic would apply to Kherson, but that Russia would include two districts in the neighboring Mykolaiv region that are now occupied by Russia.

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