There's more evidence of Russia's latest losses in Ukraine as bodies of Russian soldiers have been found abandoned in the streets following the battle for Lyman. The picture on the ground is one of the brutal realities of war. And it underscores the disarray President Vladimir Putin faces amid the Ukrainian advances and attempts to establish new Russian borders.
Lyman, a strategic eastern town, was used by the Russians as a key logistics and transport hub to avoid being encircled by Ukrainian forces. It is a rail hub that flows into Donbas, the mineral rich region in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. But Russian troops pulled back from Lyman over the weekend. This gave Ukraine an important vantage point for going ahead with its offensive deeper into Russian-held territories.
Russia's Ministry of Defense said it made the decision to pull out of Lyman which staved off a potential worst-case scenario for the Kremlin in which Russian troops were trapped. "Due to the risk to be encircled, the allied forces were withdrawn from the city to more advantageous locations." But a senior Ukrainian military official revealed that Lyman was already liberated. He said a "mop-up" is ongoing. "The Russians have nowhere to run."
We Don't Abandon Our Own
Russia proudly touts its slogan – "We don't abandon our own" – which is a big part of Putin's supposed justification for invading Ukraine. But this pledge appears not to be applicable to Russia's own soldiers. Col Volodymyr Liamzin had said the bodies they found show that Russia treats people as rubbish, as cannon fodder. "They don't need their soldiers. They throw them here, retreat and leave the bodies."
While the Ukrainian military collected the bodies of their fellow soldiers on Tuesday, the bodies of Russian comrades are still lying on the streets. An Associated Press team reported seeing 18 bodies of Russian soldiers. In May, the bodies of Russian soldiers were found in areas around Kyiv. Ukraine had then alleged that Moscow shows little interest in retrieving the bodies.
Kremlin Recruits Thousands More for Partial Mobilizationn
Not to accept defeat so easily, the Russian military has recruited more than 200,000 reservists as part of the partial mobilization launched by President Putin two weeks ago. But it drove tens of thousands of men to flee the country to neighboring Kazakhstan. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the recruits were undergoing training at 80 firing ranges before being deployed to the front lines in Ukraine.
Local Russian media reports reveal that at least six newly mobilized Russian soldiers have died since the start of the country's partial mobilization. Three soldiers died at an army training centre in the Sverdlovsk region. Maxim Ivanov, a federal lawmaker, told EAN that one of the mobilized men died from a heart attack and another committed suicide. And the third one died from cirrhosis of the liver after he was discharged and sent home. Moreover, another dead soldier was found at an enlistment office in Siberia's Tyumen region.
Meanwhile, the Federation Council which is the upper house of the Russian parliament has voted to ratify treaties to make the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia. Putin will quickly endorse the annexation treaties.