Russian Defense Ministry says Liman falls in Ukraine

Russian Defense Ministry says Liman falls in Ukraine

A top Ukrainian official had earlier admitted that Liman had fallen in the Donetsk region.

Russian forces and those from the Donetsk People's Republic have taken over the Ukrainian town of Liman, Russia's Defense Ministry has claimed. Alexey Arestovich, a key adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, admitted during a livestream that Ukrainian forces had lost the town.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday that Liman had been fully liberated from Ukrainian nationalists. Just before Ukraine admitted the fall of Liman, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba described the situation in Donbass as extremely bad for Ukrainian forces during his meeting with Western allies at the World Economic Forum WEF in Davos.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky hinted at the WEF that he could sit down for negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

While describing the Russian head of state as delusional, Zelensky noted that he was still the only Russian official worth talking to. If Putin is able to realize what Zelensky called reality, then probably we may try to go the diplomatic way unless it is too late. When asked for comment on Zelensky's statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow doubted that the Ukrainian leadership was willing to negotiate peace. The Russian official pointed out that the talks were frozen after a decision by and in accordance with the position of the Ukrainian side. Peskov also claimed that Ukrainian top officials were in the habit of constantly making statements that contradict each other, making it impossible to fully understand their intentions and whether they are ready to take a sober approach and acknowledge the real state of affairs. On Friday evening, the Ukrainian president's office published a video address by Zelensky in which he commented on the latest advances of Russian forces. However, the president said Donbas will be Ukrainian, vowing to retake the region by force.

Zelensky's address coincided with reports in several US media outlets claiming that the Biden administration had given the green light to deliver US-made long-range rocket systems to Ukraine. Kiev had been soliciting the M 270 MLRS and M 142 HIMARS systems from its American allies, arguing that these weapons could help turn the tide amid the Russian offensive in Donbass.

In an interview by Bloomberg on Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for Ukraine's allies to provide Kiev with the M 270 MLRS, which, in his eyes, was the weapon that could help the Ukrainian military defend themselves against this very brutal Russian artillery, and that is where the world needs to go. Johnson did not pledge any of the MLRS possessed by the British army.

Russia's ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has warned Washington not to provide Kiev with missile systems that could be used to hit Russian territory.