March 25, 2023

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Russian general: “I cannot explain the capitulation in Lîman. Our problem is the constant supply of false reports”

The recapture of the strategically important city of Lîman in eastern Ukraine marks a new triumph for the Ukrainians in their counter-offensive towards Donetsk.

The town has been under the control of Russian forces since May. This victory proves that the Ukrainians can repel the Russian forces – even the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, says so.

On the other hand, Ukraine so far has the support of ten NATO countries, a third of the members, to quickly join the North Atlantic Alliance. The announcement was made by President Zelenskiy’s top adviser.

In Moscow, the legislative procedure continues for the annexation of the four regions where the so-called referendums were organized: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye.

The State Duma will ratify on Monday the accession treaties signed by Putin on Friday.

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In the center of Lîman, Ukrainian soldiers removed the Russian flags and did real choreographies with the victory dance.

The withdrawal of Russian forces from this strategic city marks Ukraine’s most important gain since the spectacular counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region in the northeastern part of the country.

The Ministry of Defense in Kyiv announced that “almost all” of the Russian troops in Lîman were either captured or killed. However, Moscow claims it withdrew deliberately to avoid encircling its soldiers. State media found another explanation for the failure in Lîman: “The enemy used both Western-made artillery and intelligence from the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance.”

But when a retired Russian general and former deputy military district commander said that Russia’s problem is “the system of constant lies that goes from top to bottom” … he was abruptly cut off.

Andrei Guriolov, deputy and retired general: “I cannot explain the capitulation in Lîman. Honestly, from a military point of view, I can’t explain. Perhaps this is a milestone not only in the military sense, but also in the political sense. Our problem is the constant provision of positive reports or you can call them constant lies. This system does not go from the bottom up, but from the top down”.

Deborah Haynes, Sky News: “These British weapons are vital to the Ukrainians, giving troops the ability to hit high-value Russian targets at long range and with precision.”

Missile launch reveals position of Ukrainian gunners. As Russian artillery can respond quickly, it can be fatal for them to stay put.

For the first time, journalists were able to see how the Ukrainians use the multiple reactive artillery systems delivered by the British in battle. These formidable weapons can accurately hit targets up to a distance of 24 kilometers.

Soldier: “I receive the coordinates, enter them into the computer and launch… Immediately after the launch of the rockets, I feel my heart beat like crazy: Boom, boom! That’s all, then everything is calm.”

A steady supply of missiles is vital, as the Ukrainians strike with reactive artillery several times a day. The targets are command centers, armored and other Russian military vehicles, or ammunition depots.

6,000 km free

Kiev’s forces claim to have regained 6,000 square kilometers of territory in the past two weeks, freeing communities that had been under Russian control for more than six months.

In a small town 10 kilometers from Lîman, people say they have been hiding in bunkers and basements all this time.

“We are not leaving here because this is our land, the place where we were born. I’d rather live in a shack but stay at home. We are not needed anywhere. Neither in Europe, nor anywhere”.

Ukrainian military commanders say that, in large part, the success of the counteroffensive going on right now in the east is due to multiple British and German missile launchers, along with the famous American HIMARS.

“We understand that it will not be possible to advance quickly in all directions, we need more support from our Western allies, more resources (ammunition and weapons) and more troops, to be able to go on the counterattack.”

As for the large number of troops Putin is preparing to send to Ukraine… Ukrainians say they are not scared.

Soldier: “I saw who they were mobilizing. I think we can fight them.”

From the areas freed from the terror of the Russians, more and more evidence of the terror to which the civilians were subjected is emerging.

Oleksandr Filchakov, prosecutor in Kharkiv: “Every day people come to tell us that friends or even members of their families were tortured by Russian soldiers.”

This woman mourns her boy who left in the middle of March to the forest for firewood. The young man never returned.

“Someone told me that he was hard to recognize. He was shot in the hands. He had broken ribs. His face was unrecognizable.”

His body was found in a mass grave, in a forest in Izium, along with the remains of 440 other people. Many had obvious signs of torture.

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