‘Critical’ Putin faces humiliating defeat in Donbas

Ukraine: Paratroopers destroy Russian tank and armoured vehicles

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Vladimir Putin faces a humiliating military setback in the Donbas, as Ukrainian forces close in on the capture of a key strategic city. Kyiv’s forces have sought to continue their forward momentum, after their devastating counterattack on the Kharkiv front. Ukrainian units have succeeded in crossing the Oskil and Siversky Donets rivers and are now advancing further eastwards.

The Ukrainian push is threatening parts of Luhansk province, that the Russians painstakingly took during the summer.

Luhansk and Donetsk provinces make up the Donbas – the conquest of which became a major war goal for Putin after he was forced to abandon his attempts to capture Kyiv.

Although Russia’s army was able to take full control of Luhansk, it has failed to do the same in Donetsk and is now struggling to contain a powerful Ukrainian offensive in the province.

Kyiv’s army is within striking distance of the key strategic city of Lyman, which serves as an important supply hub on the western edge of the Donbas.

The Ukrainians hope to use it as a gateway to push further east and continue their momentum, as they seek to liberate Donetsk and Luhansk from the Russian occupiers.

Recent reports confirm fierce fighting around the town of Drobysheve, which is located just 5 miles northwest of Lyman.

A Russian officer from the Bars-13 unit told the military blogger @wargonzo that the situation around Drobysheve had become “critical” and that his troops faced being cut off.

The officer said: “We are defending Drobysheve. They are so close to our positions that we can see and hear them.

“Yesterday we evacuated our troops from Novoselivka, because we didn’t have the strength to hold it.

“We regrouped and are defending Drobysheve, but the situation is critical.

“Our opponents are using helicopters, large munition artillery – 120mm and 155mm, as well as UAVs.”

He added that only two lines of communication were still left for resupply – both of which were not secured.

The first one was the road running eastwards from Drobysheve through to Stavky and Torske.

However this route was under the control of Ukrainian artillery fire. The other road running south from Drobysheve to Lyman dissected both Russian and Ukrainian positions.

The commander added: “The Ukrainians are trying to cut off all supplies to Lyman via Torske.

“We don’t have enough people, equipment or artillery.”

He also confirmed that Ukrainian troops had liberated Katerynivka, Nove and Kolodyazi.

The Bars-13 is better known as the “Russian Legion” and was formed mainly from troops serving as part of the “Union of Donbas Volunteers.”

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It comes as a Ukrainian commander warned that Russia might be preparing to launch another attack in the Kharkiv province.

The Kremlin is reportedly amassing troops and equipment on the border between Russia and the Kharkiv region.

Brigadier General Sergei Melnik, the commander of the Kharkiv military garrison, told the Telegraph: “The situation is not calm.

“Furthermore, on that side of the border they are building up a very large number of troops and equipment and so on.

“So what they are going to do next we don’t yet know.”

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