The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reports that as of September 29, Ukrainian soldiers have most likely completed the siege of Lyman and cut lines of communication critical to the Russian army.
“Russian sources indicated that Ukrainian troops have likely completed the envelopment of the Russian grouping in the Lyman area as of the end of the day on September 29. A prominent Russian military correspondent reported that Ukrainian forces broke through Russian defenses around Stavky, 10km north of Lyman, and cut the Torske-Drobysheve road that is the last supply and egress route for Russian elements holding the line west of Lyman. The correspondent called the situation “extremely difficult” for elements of the BARS-13 detachment and the 752nd Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 20th Combined Arms Army, which are reportedly defending around Drobysheve and into Lyman”, reads the ISW report.
Another Russian milblogger stated that Ukrainian troops are attacking Lyman from three directions and have cut Russian access to the critical Svatove-Lyman road, which is the major ground line of communication (GLOC) sustaining the Russian grouping within Lyman itself. Several milbloggers stated that the fall of Lyman to Ukrainian troops is imminent without the immediate reinforcement of Russian forces.
The Ukrainian General Staff reported earlier in the day on September 29 that seven tank units formed by newly mobilized and low-skilled personnel had deployed to the Lyman area without proper fire training for tank weapons and got into a road accident. It is highly unlikely that any deployment of additional, newly mobilized forces to Lyman will afford the existing Russian grouping significant defensive capabilities and prevent Ukrainian troops from collapsing the Lyman pocket.
Russian sources also continued to discuss Ukrainian counteroffensive operations along the Oskil River in the northeastern Kharkiv Oblast on September 29. A Russian milblogger claimed that Ukrainian troops attempted to break through Russian defenses near the Kharkiv-Luhansk border in an unspecified location. Deputy Chief of the Ukrainian General Staff’s Main Operational Department, Oleksiy Hromov, stated on September 29 that the Russian 4th Tank Division of the 1st Guards Tank Army suffered considerable losses over the past few weeks while operating in Kupyansk, which lies near the Oskil River by the Kharkiv-Luhansk Oblast border.
As ISW previously reported, the 4th Tank Division lost nearly an entire regiment worth of advanced T-80 tanks during earlier stages of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast, which suggests that the remnants of the 4th Tank Division that are currently operating around near Kupyansk are severely understrength.