01 Oct 2022, 17:31

Russian troops 'encircled' in key Ukraine town

KYIV, Ukraine, Oct 1, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Ukraine's army on Saturday said its forces had surrounded several thousand Russian troops near the key eastern town of Lyman which has been under Moscow's control since spring.

"The Russian grouping near Lyman is encircled," Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for Ukraine's eastern forces, said, according to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency. 

He said that previously there were "around 5,000-5,500" Russian troops in the area, but military action could have "reduced" their numbers.

According to Cherevatyi, five villages near Lyman in the eastern Donetsk region had been liberated. 

Also on Saturday, the governor of the neighbouring Lugansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, said on social media that nearly 5,000 Russian troops ended up in the "Lyman Cauldron". 

He said the surrounded troops have three options: "try to break through, all die together or surrender".

Lyman is located in the Donetsk region, which Russia annexed on Friday together with three other Moscow-held territories in Ukraine -- Lugansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson -- in a move condemned by Kyiv and the West.

The Kremlin-backed leader of Donetsk said Friday that Russian troops and their allies were holding on to Lyman with "their last strength".

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