As Russia abandons the Lyman bastion in newly annexed Donetsk, Putin’s ally in Chechnya says it’s time for a nuclear response.
Putin ally pushes nukes after Lyman recoil
Russia says its troops have abandoned a key bastion in occupied eastern Ukraine, a stinging defeat that prompted one of President Vladimir Putin’s most hawkish allies to call for Russia to consider resorting to low-grade nuclear weapons.
The fall of Lyman came just a day after Putin proclaimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions – including Donetsk, where Lyman is located – and placed them under Russia’s nuclear umbrella, at a ceremony that was condemned by Kyiv and the West as an illegitimate farce.
“In connection with the creation of a threat of encirclement, allied troops were withdrawn from the settlement of Krasny Liman to more advantageous lines,” Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday, using the Russian name of the town.
The statement ended hours of official silence from Moscow after Ukraine first said it had surrounded thousands of Russian troops in the area and then that its forces were inside the town of Lyman.