The Ukrainian military targeted Lyman after its forces launched a surprise attack on Russian units in the Kharkiv region in the first week of September, breaching their defenses and liberating much of the occupied territory.
An important supply line for the Russian army passes through the city of Lyman. Russia has already lost another important supply line that passed through the city of Kupyansk. This week, it was confirmed that Ukrainian forces also occupied the eastern suburb of Kupjans, Uzlovoi, through which the railway lines used to transport military goods from Russia to the occupied territories pass.
Ukrainian forces forced the Oskol River and began to push deeper in three directions.
Russian forces east of Kharkiv retreated to a new defensive line stretching across the valley from the town of Svatov in the north to Kremmina, 25 miles away in the south. The valley, surrounded on both sides by highlands, is not a strong position for defense, observes Forbes.
A map of the counterattack by Ukrainian forces has been published on Russian channels
In recent days, the Russian Air Force has increased the number of airstrikes in a desperate attempt to help besieged Russian forces, but Ukraine’s air defenses have played down the impact of these air operations. On Saturday alone, the Ukrainians shot down four Russian planes.
Forbes writes that now the most likely question is not if the Ukrainians will get Lyman back, but when. Ukrainian forces are pushing north across the Donetsk from positions east of Lyman, north across the same river from positions west of Lyman, and east across Oskil from positions north of Lyman.
This Ukrainian operation can be extremely painful for the Russians, because several battalions with thousands of soldiers can be surrounded. Or even more troops if the Kremlin manages to push reinforcements into the area.
The progress of the Ukrainian army in this area is confirmed by the experts of the American Institute of Military Studies (ISW). According to them, Ukrainian forces are strengthening their positions near Lyman and continue to approach the city, liberating new settlements.
Fierce fighting continues in the Lyman area, analysts say, and Ukrainian troops are close to cutting off the last supply routes of the Russian group operating there and closing it into an operational encirclement, according to reports from the front.
ISW experts, based on Ukrainian sources, write that on September 26 and 27 Ukrainian forces captured several villages northwest and north of Lyman.
In addition, the US institute, citing Russian sources, reports that Ukrainian artillery is shelling the last route through which Russian troops are supplied through Svatova, Makiivka and Ternia. Ukrainian intelligence and sabotage groups have already been spotted in the cities of Torskoye and Yampole, southeast of Lyman.
Yuriy Butusov, a well-known Ukrainian war journalist and editor-in-chief of the censor.net portal, wrote on his Facebook account on Wednesday that the front line of the 20th Combined Arms Army of the Russian Armed Forces near the Oskol River was breached. The Russian group defending the city of Lyman has already entered operational encirclement. According to him, if they succeed in blocking the last supply routes, this group will be doomed – either destroyed or surrendered.
According to J. Butusov, the command of the Russian army obviously understands the threat, but continues to hold Lyman and Yampole. “The configuration of the front for the enemy is extremely unfavorable for defense, the enemy will not be able to maintain such a front for a long time. At the same time, the enemy cannot be underestimated, the control of the group is preserved, the enemy is still ahead of us with heavy weapons and ammunition. The fighting is tough,” the war journalist writes.
According to J. Butusov, the Russians are transporting all possible reinforcements to this area – for example, the documents of soldiers from the 201st military base in Tajikistan, various regional and national units, and a number of BARS battalions have already been taken there.
J. Butusov claims that the armed forces of Ukraine have already reached the vicinity of the city of Kremmina, and if the group defending Lyman falls, the enemy will have to run far away. According to him, Ukrainian soldiers are gradually moving to the northern city of Svatovė.