Things are looking sketchy for Russia on both ends of the front. Lyman:
In front of the mayor’s office in Lyman lay a heap of Russian propaganda posters, apparently freshly torn down and partially burned in a fire that went out in a thin fall drizzle on Sunday.
Decorated in the white, blue and red colors of the Russian flag, they were soggy from the rain. One explained the significance of Russian state symbols, the Russian flag and national anthem. “The national anthem of Russia is loved in our country,” a partially burned poster read.
A day after Ukrainian forces retook control of Lyman, a strategic railway hub in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, a picture began to emerge of the destruction left behind by fleeing Russian soldiers who had occupied the city for months. In a hasty withdrawal, they abandoned official documents, military vehicles and the bodies of their comrades.
And as Cheryl notes there’s movement near Kherson:
Worth noting that Russia does not control significant portions of the territory it purportedly owns and would defend to the death with nuclear weapons. In related news I take a look at some of the most significant obstacles to a negotiated end of the conflict:
It’s hard to look at all of these issues and come to any conclusion other than that negotiations are going to be incredibly difficult. It will be hard for Russia and Ukraine to find any third party willing to facilitate the long-term talks that will be required to end this war. Moreover, given the costs paid thus far by both sides, it will be exceedingly difficult for Zelensky and Putin to overcome domestic opposition to concessions, especially the former. It’s fine and well to say that Ukraine and Russia should start talking, but we need to have open eyes about the obstacles to a peace agreement.