In the DPR on Thursday, May 26, they announced the raising of flags over the administration of the city of Liman (until 2016 it was called Krasny Liman). The fighting for the settlement continued from Monday. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, on the same day, a Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter and a military transport aircraft carrying ammunition were destroyed in the air. The military department also announced a maritime humanitarian corridor for the exit of foreign ships from Odessa, Nikolaev and other ports, and called on ships previously blocked in Mariupol to return to their places of permanent registration.
Road to Slavyansk
On May 26, video evidence appeared of the hoisting of the flags of Russia, the DPR and Pobeda over the administration in the center of Liman. On the eve it was reported that a significant part of the city had already been liberated. Fighting continued on its southern outskirts and in the area of the railway station.
“The liberation of Krasny Liman has not only tactical, but also great symbolic significance,” military expert Vladislav Shurygin told Izvestia. — This is the last major settlement on the way to Slavyansk, which in 2014 became one of the centers of the uprising against the Kyiv authorities. Then it turned out to be one of the first large settlements that recaptured Ukrainian formations from the forces of the people’s republics. Since then, he has been waiting for release for eight years. Artillery duels and battles for this important railway junction, surrounded by forest plantations, turned out to be no less fierce than in the Bakhmut area.
Although it is only 15 km from there to Slavyansk, this path will not be easy, the expert warns. Krasny Liman is located on the opposite bank of the Seversky Donets River. Kyiv formations will surely blow up the bridge across it, and then take up defense along the banks.
“A direct strike across the river here, near the main defense center, is hardly possible. The Ukrainian command, realizing the strategic importance of these cities, is concentrating all available reinforcements in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk in order to delay the Russian offensive at the turn of this most important water barrier, Vladislav Shurygin explained.
On May 26, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on new targets hit by high-precision weapons. Air missiles attacked 48 areas of concentration of manpower and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, two artillery batteries and two ammunition depots in the areas of Nikolaevka and Berestovoye of the Donetsk People’s Republic. The launcher of the Osa-AKM anti-aircraft missile system was destroyed near Nikolaevka in the DPR, and the radar for illumination and guidance of the S-300 air defense system was destroyed near Chuguev in the Kharkiv region.
“In the area of the settlement of Dneprovskoe, Mykolaiv region, a Ukrainian electronic intelligence center was destroyed, including 11 military personnel of a combat crew, as well as 15 foreign specialists of engineering, technical and operational staff who arrived with protection,” said the official representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Major General Igor Konashenkov.
Aircraft of operational-tactical and army aviation hit 49 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, two mortar crews, as well as a depot of rocket and artillery weapons and ammunition. In total, as a result of air strikes, more than 350 nationalists were killed, 96 units of weapons and military equipment were disabled, the Ministry of Defense reported.
Rocket troops and artillery hit 62 command posts, 407 troop concentration areas, 47 artillery and mortar units in firing positions, as well as three ammunition depots.
In the area of the Pokrovsk railway station of the Donetsk People’s Republic, units and military equipment of the 10th mountain assault brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which arrived to reinforce the Ukrainian group in Donbass, were destroyed during unloading.
Russian air defense shot down a Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter over Gusarivka in the Kharkiv region. It was also announced about the destruction in the air of a military transport aircraft in the Kremidovka region of the Odessa region, which was delivering ammunition and weapons. 13 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were intercepted, including two Soviet-made Tu-143 Reis jets near Melovatka in the LPR.
– In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, 179 aircraft, 127 helicopters, 1019 unmanned aerial vehicles, 323 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3266 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 433 installations of multiple launch rocket systems, 1682 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3190 units of special military vehicles,” said Igor Konashenkov.
On Thursday, the head of the National Defense Control Center, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, said that the Russian Navy had eliminated the mine threat in the port of Mariupol, and now civilian ships can safely use the harbor.
According to the general, the Russian side created all conditions for the safe exit of six foreign dry cargo ships blocked by Ukraine: Tsarevna (Bulgaria), Azburg (Dominican Republic), Smarta (Liberia), Blue Star (Panama), Azov Concord” (Turkey), “Lady Augusta” (Jamaica) from the water area of Mariupol, but, despite this, so far, the leadership of the countries of the ship-owning companies has not taken measures to withdraw these vessels.
“We call on the diplomatic missions of Bulgaria, the Dominican Republic, Liberia, Panama, Turkey, Jamaica and the International Maritime Organization to exert effective influence on the owners of ships in the port of Mariupol to bring them to their places of permanent registry,” Mikhail Mizintsev said.
On May 25, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the first five ships that had been blocked there by Ukrainian militants since the start of hostilities left the port of Mariupol through a special humanitarian corridor organized by Russia.
On the evening of May 26, the Ministry of Defense announced a change since March 27 of the coordinates of the maritime humanitarian corridor for the exit of foreign ships from the ports of Odessa, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Kherson, Ochakov and Yuzhny. The route with a length of 139 nautical miles and a width of three will operate daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Moscow time.
“The Ukrainian side is responsible for ensuring the safety of ships leaving ports and proceeding to the assembly area,” the defense ministry said.
The defeat of the column
Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Zharkikh provided artillery support to Russian units. From the first days of the special military operation, he was personally at the forefront, managed, provided assistance and transferred practical skills to his subordinates.
During aerial reconnaissance, an armed formation of nationalists was discovered by an unmanned aerial vehicle. Dmitry decided to defeat the militants, personally correcting the fire, as a result of which three self-propelled howitzer artillery installations, two pickup trucks with mortars mounted on them, one armored personnel carrier and about 30 nationalists were destroyed.
“The high professionalism of Lieutenant Colonel Zharkikh and the skillful leadership of his subordinates contributed to the fulfillment of all assigned combat missions in a given direction,” the Defense Ministry said.
Sergeant Viktor Pykhtin’s squad conducted reconnaissance of the area near the positions of Russian troops. Victor at night discovered a group of Ukrainian nationalists armed with small arms, three grenade launchers and a machine gun. Having decided to attack, the sergeant gave orders to his subordinates and was one of the first to enter the battle, destroying the enemy’s machine-gun crew.
During the battle, Sergeant Pykhtin’s squad destroyed more than ten radicals. The survivors fled. The military department noted that by decisive and professional actions, Sergeant Pykhtin ensured the safety of the place of deployment of the grouping of the Russian Armed Forces.
The battalion-tactical group of the Guards Sergeant Mykola Romanenko liberated the settlement from the armed formations of Ukrainian nationalists. Thanks to Nikolai’s excellent knowledge of tactics of warfare and high command qualities, the fire system was correctly built and the firing sector was determined, which deprived the enemy of the opportunity to retreat.
The Nationalists tried to deliver weapons to the defending militants who were holding back the advance of the Marines. Nikolai Romanenko hit an enemy truck with ammunition with accurate fire from an infantry fighting vehicle. As a result of the explosion, one infantry fighting vehicle and more than five nationalists were destroyed in the enemy column by ejected shells. For this feat, Guards Sergeant Nikolai Romanenko was awarded the Order of Courage.