Ukraine on the Verge of Another Massive Battlefield Victory

A massive battlefield victory is nearly in Ukraine’s grasp in Russian-held Donetsk.

The Russian army’s position in its “annexed” region could come unglued as Ukrainian forces surround the lynchpin of Moscow’s defenses there.

The city of Lyman sits on the northern tip of Donetsk, and was seized by Russian forces on May 27, a few weeks before their Donbas offensive culminated on July 3. As a rail hub, Lyman quickly became a vital center of Russian logistics throughout their conquered territories in Ukraine’s east.

Russian forces there might soon be trapped in a noose.

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Things are moving quickly, so please forgive the fog of war and whether any of this morning’s info became obsolete while I was having lunch.

Kyiv’s forces have been moving in recent days to surround Lyman, successfully pushing eastwards in two prongs north and south of the city.

There’s an easier-to-read map here, but the information is several hours older.

The latest report, if true, would have UA troops moving towards Lyman from the northeast.

King’s College visiting professor Michael Clarke (War Studies department) reportedly just told Sky News that it may already be too late for Russian forces to remove their heavy equipment from Lyman, since Ukraine is likely now close enough to target artillery on the main road out.

Don’t get too excited just yet.

One of my most trusted milbloggers, “Def Mon,” wrote earlier on Wednesday:

Ukraine seems to have the overall initiative right now, but that might change with more rain and a bunch of RU cannon fodder. It’s possible we might hit a stand still if we get a lot of rain and RU conscripts manning the defensive lines.

Still, even he concludes that things are “starting to look really s*** for the Russians.”

In other words, it isn’t so much a question of whether Ukraine will retake Lyman. At this point, it might be whether replacement troops (and the autumn rains) can slow the advance enough to allow Russians forces to retreat from Lyman in good order and with their heavy equipment.

Retaking Lyman would be a solid win for Ukraine and set the stage for follow-on wins, although they might have to wait until the spring thaw.

Capturing large amounts of Russia heavy equipment — or if the noose closes, even great numbers of Russian men — would be a massive battlefield victory. It could potentially set the stage in the next week or two for clearing Donetsk of Russian forces as quickly as Ukraine cleared them out of the Kharkiv region earlier this month.

Yes, losing Lyman could prove that big of a disaster for Russia.

Nevertheless: “The Kremlin said on Wednesday its ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine must continue at least until the capture of all of east Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

They’re gonna need more dudes.

Also for our VIPs: An Insurgency Is Just What Russia Needs Right Now

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