Military defeat in Donetsk comes hours after Moscow declared that the region was Russian territory ‘for ever’
Russia suffered a humiliating military defeat on Saturday when Ukrainian troops liberated the key eastern city of Lyman, with videos showing them raising a blue and yellow national flag and performing a victory dance.
In a severe embarrassment for Vladimir Putin, Russia’s ministry of defence admitted its soldiers had retreated. They had been “withdrawn to more advantageous lines”, the ministry said, following their encirclement by Ukrainian forces.
The debacle comes hours after Putin declared on Friday that the city, which is in the Donetsk region, was Russia’s “for ever”. In a ceremony in the Kremlin he announced the province’s annexation, together with the territories of Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.