Ukraine has surrounded the town of Lyman in Donetsk, according to a Ukrainian military spokesperson. The city has been under the control of Russia since last spring.
Spokesman Serge Sherevatige said between 5,000 and 5,500 Russian soldiers are trapped in the city. According to Sherivatige, the number may have decreased due to the fighting.
This is the largest number of Russian soldiers trapped so far in the war, according to the governor of neighboring Luhansk province Serhij Hajjaj.
– Now they have three options: Either they can break through the lines, surrender, or die together, he says.
Hajjaj says the Russian soldiers wanted to leave the city but were ordered to stay.
A pro-Russian Ukrainian leader said on Friday that Russian forces and their allies still held the city in their “last strength”.
Denis Pushlin, who leads the separatist authorities in the Donetsk region, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the situation is still difficult, and our people are holding on to their last strength.
The city will likely fall in a few days, according to Institute for the Study of War.
Lyman is located in the northern part of Donetsk, a province under Russian control only partially. The strategically important city is located in one of the four regions that Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday to be forcibly incorporated into Russia.
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