A potential staging area for additional eastward advances, as well as increased pressure on the Kremlin, Ukraine on Sunday declared complete control of the eastern supply hub of Lyman. This was Ukraine's most major battlefield victory over Russia in weeks.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, said on Sunday that the country's military achievements went beyond simply recapturing Lyman. The minor Arkhanhelske and Myrolyubivka communities in the Kherson region have also been freed by Ukrainian forces, he claimed.

Vladimir Putin of Russia suffered a crushing loss after declaring on Friday the annexation of four districts that make up roughly a quarter of Ukraine, including Lyman. The declaration has been denounced as an illegitimate sham by Kiev and the West.

The seizure of the town, where Ukrainian flags were flown over civic structures on Saturday, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, proved that Ukraine is capable of driving Russian soldiers from the area and highlighted the influence of its use of cutting-edge Western weapons.

In May, Russian forces overran Lyman from Ukraine, and since then, they have been exploiting it as a logistics and transportation hub for their operations in the Donetsk region's north. Since Ukraine's quick counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region in September, its recapture by Ukrainian forces represents Russia's largest battlefield defeat.

According to Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of adjacent Luhansk, control over Lyman might be a major factor in assisting Ukraine to recapture lost ground in the region, which Moscow announced as fully captured in early July following weeks of relentless assaults.

According to the British Ministry of Defense, Lyman's command over a road crossing the Siverskyi Donets River-behind which Russia has been working to fortify its defenses-was what gave it operational significance.

Russia most certainly sustained significant losses during the retreat. Before the Ukrainian invasion, Russia had between 5,000 and 5,500 soldiers in the town, according to a Ukrainian military official on Saturday.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated on Sunday that the achievements made by Ukraine were very encouraging, while NATO's Stoltenberg added that the fall of Lyman showed how effective Western weapons were in the battle.

In a meeting with Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine's presidential office, on Sunday in Istanbul, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan affirmed Washington's unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to the White House.

On Sunday, Pope Francis penned a passionate letter to Putin pleading with him to end "this spiral of violence and death" in Ukraine. He also urged Zelenskyy to be receptive to any "serious peace proposal."