1664787982 Putins Lyman loss to top down lies Ret Russian commander

Putin’s Lyman loss to top-down lies: Ret. Russian commander

A former Russian military commander recently said Moscow’s failure to hold the city of Lyman was due to a series of “top to bottom” lies.

Andrey Gurulyov previously served in the Russian Army until 2019 before moving into politics, serving as deputy governor for the Transbaikal region and currently serving as a member of the country’s Duma parliament. The politician, who recently appeared on a state news program, took an unexpectedly somber and critical stance on Lyman’s handover to the Ukrainian armed forces, at least initially. Julia Davis, the creator of Russian Media Monitor, shared a clip of his performance on Twitter on Saturday.

“Honestly, I can’t explain it from a military point of view,” Gurulyov told the show’s host. “Perhaps this is a milestone, not only in a military sense, but also politically. I honestly can’t understand why after all this time they couldn’t properly assess the situation, why they didn’t make a decision to reinforce the group that was defending Lyman.”

Lyman is a major city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, part of the breakaway Donbass region, which was the focus of the Russian invasion. The city reportedly served as a major logistics and transportation hub for the occupying Russian forces.

On Saturday, Russian officials announced that forces in the city had withdrawn after a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive. Reports later surfaced that around 5,000 Russian soldiers were surrounded by Ukrainian defenders in the city. Despite this massive military backlash, Russian President Vladimir Putin recently declared that he was illegally annexing the region — along with the Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions — after referenda on joining Russia were held there last week.

When asked for comment, State Department Newsweek referred the words of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who, as final results neared, dismissed them as “sham referendums and annexations,” saying President Joe’s administration Biden will take “further strict and swift action at Russia’s expense” for moving forward.

russian commander lyman ukraine retreat

Above is a shot of Ukrainian forces near the town of Lyman. A retired Russian commander recently said that the military’s withdrawal from the key city was the result of lies by the leadership. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

In the same interview, Gurulyov suggested that Lyman’s withdrawal was probably the result of inaccurate reports from the battlefield trying to paint a positive picture of the situation. This, he said, was likely done by the military leadership due to the nature of the system in place.

“No matter how heroically they fought, there is an elementary calculation of military capabilities that will show whether or not Lyman could be held,” Gurulyov continued. “The problem we have is the constant giving of good reports, or you can call it constant lying. This system is not bottom-up, but top-down.”

When Gurulyov made this assessment, his Skype feed suddenly stopped. According to Davis, his connection was later restored, but he no longer spoke about alleged leadership failures in Ukraine.

Newsweek reached out to Russian officials for comment.