KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) — Russia has claimed the capture of a key railway junction as its forces fight to seize all of eastern Ukraine's contested Donbas region. A Russian Defense ministry spokesman reported Saturday said the city of Lyman had been “completely liberated” by a joint force of Russian soldiers and Moscow-backed separatists.
The city is the second small municipality to fall to Russian forces this week. Controlling Lyman would give the Russian military a foothold for advancing on larger Ukrainian-held cities in Donetsk and Luhansk, the two provinces that make up the Donbas.
Since failing to occupy Ukraine’s capital, Russia has concentrated on seizing parts of the region not already controlled by the separatists.