Following the retreat of their compatriots, which marked Moscow's latest setback, the death of Russian soldiers are littering the streets of a crucial eastern Ukrainian city.
According to sources, the Ukrainian military gathered the bodies of their comrades on Tuesday, following heavy fights for control of Lyman, a crucial logistics and transport hub, but did not immediately take the bodies of the Russians.
Saturday, as Russia continued to seize four Ukrainian areas, its troops withdrew from Lyman to avoid being besieged by Ukrainian forces. The liberation of the city provided Ukraine with a crucial vantage position from which to drive its attack farther into Russian-held territory.
Residents of Lyman came from their hiding places in the basements during the battle for the town and started cooking fires. Since May, the town has been without water, electricity, and gas.
Rud, a Ukrainian soldier, stated, "We fight for our land, for our children, so that our people can live better, but all of this comes at a very high cost."
A woman 85 years old named Valentyna Kuzmichna recalls a recent explosion in the area.
"I was standing in the hall approximately 5 meters away when I heard the explosion," she added. God forbid, I can no longer hear properly.
Counteroffensive operations continue
The Russian military began further missile attacks against Ukrainian cities on Tuesday, as Ukrainian forces advanced in the east and south.
Several missiles struck Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine, causing infrastructural damage and power outages. Governor of Kharkiv Oleh Syniehubov stated that one person was killed and at least two people were injured, including a nine-year-old child.
After regaining control of Lyman in the Donetsk area, Ukrainian forces proceeded towards Kreminna and may have reached the border of the neighboring Luhansk region, according to the Institute for the Study of War's most recent assessment.
On Monday, Ukrainian forces made substantial advances in the south, capturing the villages of Arkhanhelske, Myroliubivka, Khreshchenivka, Mykhalivka, and Novovorontsov.
Amid the war in the eastern and southern areas of Ukraine, Russia sought to absorb four Ukrainian territories.
Tuesday, the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, agreed to ratify treaties that would include the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia regions in Russia.
After last week's Kremlin-orchestrated annexation "referendums" that Ukraine and its Western allies have condemned as illegitimate and fraudulent, the lower chamber swiftly rubber-stamped the accession pacts.
It is anticipated that Russian President Vladimir Putin will swiftly approve the annexation accords.
Even the actual borders of the districts being taken were unclear as a result of the haste with which Russia has incorporated the Ukrainian regions.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, stated on Monday that Donetsk and Luhansk will join Russia with the same administrative borders that existed before the 2014 battle between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces. According to him, the frontiers of Zaporizhia and Kherson remain undetermined.
However, a prominent Russian senator argued otherwise. Pavel Krasheninnikov stated that Zaporizhia will be absorbed with its "administrative borders," implying that Moscow intends to absorb portions of the territory that are still under Kyiv's jurisdiction. He stated that the same reasoning would apply to the city of Kherson, except that Russia will incorporate two districts of the neighboring Mykolaiv area that are currently occupied by Russia.