War in Ukraine quotThe fighting is very fierce there is

War in Ukraine: "The fighting is very fierce, there is no respite"testifies a soldier returning from Lyma

Franceinfo met Sasha, a 30-year-old Ukrainian who commands a special forces unit and spent two semalas in the Ukrainian city of Lyman, which was annexed by Moscow and then returned to Ukrainian control after heavy fighting.

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Published on 03/10/2022 13:38 Updated on 03/10/2022 13:49

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Sasha is barely 30 years old and leads a Ukrainian special forces unit with whom he has spent nearly two weeks in Lyman, Ukraine. Franceinfo met him two days before the Russian army left. “The fighting is very fierce,” he says. There is no break: it is 24 hours a day. Artillery fire never stops, like air raids.”

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And, as always, since the start of this counter-offensive, the Russian defense lines have collapsed: a new military success for the Kyiv army that underscores the crucial role of weapons sent from the West.

“Don’t forget that we are fighting the second army in the world,” emphasizes Sasha. In the beginning we couldn’t advance, but the modern weapons we got made the difference and we were able to break through quickly.”

“We are really grateful to the foreign partners who helped us because it allows us to get closer to victory.”

By seizing control of Lyman, the Ukrainian army captured one of Russia’s most important rear bases, a crucial railroad junction for the continuation of the Kiev counteroffensive. “Lyman is strategic, he explains, because the city is on the other bank of the Severskyi Donetsk River, which presents a natural obstacle: if we control it, we can move equipment and vehicles to the other side. This will therefore facilitate our progress in cleaning up the Donetsk region.”

But after the annexation of the four Ukrainian regions by Russia, the fear of a nuclear strike is greater than ever, Sacha admits. “Putin is a fanatic, he believes. He understood that he was losing the war, but he doesn’t want to admit it. He’s ill. He will do everything to save face.” This nuclear threat has not weakened the resolve of Ukrainian soldiers, who continue their advance towards Lysychansk, the last city captured by Moscow last July.

War in Ukraine: “The fighting is very fierce, there is no peace,” testifies a soldier who has returned from Lyman – the report by Omar Ouahmane and Jérémy Tuil