Key Ukrainian town liberated after Russia withdraws troops
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A town in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, which has been described as crucial to Russia's war plans, has been liberated and is now under full Ukrainian control.
Zelenskyy took to his Telegram channel to share the news: "As of 12.30pm (09.30 GMT), Lyman is fully cleared," he said in a short video clip.
On Saturday (1 October), Russia pulled its troops out of Lyman because Kyiv's forces had closed in and threatened to encircle them.
A video posted on Sunday morning (2 October) – which was shared by the president's office – showed Ukrainian soldiers raising their flag at the entrance to Lyman.
Since the war started in February, analysts have described the Donetsk town as key to Moscow's war effort. This is because Lyman is home to a major rail junction which serves the western edge of the Donbas region.
Moscow had been using the town as a logistics and transport hub for the front line, which makes Ukraine's recapturing of it even more significant.
Military experts are saying Ukraine's retaking of Lyman could pave the way for its troops to make inroads into the adjacent Luhansk province.
Incidentally, Luhansk is one of four regions Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed on Friday (30 September) following 'referendums'.
Much of the West vented their disapproval at the referendums, Prime Minister Liz Truss said: "Vladimir Putin is once again violating international law with his threats to annex more of Ukraine."
The liberation of Lyman is another setback for Russia and a defeat for Putin. Just hours before Ukraine regained control of the town, the Russian president declared it was part of Russia 'forever'.
The governor of the nearby Luhansk region said he hoped that Ukraine's reclaiming of the territory will mark the start of the country reclaiming the Luhansk region.
In a message on Telegram, Serhiy Gaidai wrote: "The liberation of this city in the Donetsk region is one of the key factors for the further de-occupation of the Luhansk region."
Elsewhere, President Zelenskyy promised more quick successes in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are largely under Russian control.
In an address, he said: "Over the past week, the number of Ukrainian flags in Donbas has increased. There will be even more a week's time."
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