As the Ukraine crisis has dragged on, little-known towns have been liberated and rebuilt. Lyman is one of those towns. Located in the Donetsk region, Lyman was under siege by Russian-backed separatists for more than two years. Now, after a long and difficult war, Lyman is back to life as civilians return to reclaim their homes and businesses. The town’s resilience is a testament to the strength of the Ukrainian people and the support they have received from their allies abroad. Through website and social media campaigns, supporters have rallied behind Lyman, providing humanitarian assistance and supplies as well as financial assistance for reconstruction. Although Lyman may be new to many people, its story is representative of the global struggle against extremism and terror. As we continue to fight these battles, it is essential that we remember the communities that are affected – no matter how small or obscure they may seem.
The Battle for Lyman
As Ukrainian troops backed by air support fought their way through the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk, a group of civilians faced an even tougher battle defending the town of Lyman. Located just outside of Donetsk, Lyman was one of the first towns to fall into rebel hands in April 2014. For over two months, the town was under siege by pro-Russian forces, with civilians struggling to find food and supplies. In early July, Ukrainian forces retook the town after a hard-fought battle. The victory was a testament to the resilience of Lyman’s civilian population.
Since the war began, Lyman has been a veritable ghost town. Stores were looted or destroyed during the fighting, and only a few elderly residents remained in homes surrounded by rubble. Despite the danger posed by roaming gangs of looters and bandits, most residents decided to stay behind and protect their homes. “We didn’t want to leave our houses,” said 72-year-old Valentina Kulikova. “People here are brave—we knew that if we left our homes, they would be taken over by the rebels.”
Despite their determination, Lyman’s civilians faced an uphill battle during the siege. Food was scarce and prices had skyrocketed due to shortages across Ukraine. To make matters worse, pro-Russian militants regularly fired mortar rounds into Lyman from neighboring rebel territory, striking homes and wounding or killing civilians alike. “Lyman was like hell on earth,”
Aftermath of the War in Lyman
The town of Lyman, Ukraine was liberated from the control of the Russian-backed separatists on January 11th, 2017. Since then, civilians have been working to rebuild their lives and communities. Despite the challenges posed by ongoing conflict and post-war reconstruction, Lyman’s residents are determined to return home.
On January 25th, 2017, Ukrainian President Poroshenko visited Lyman to commemorate the liberation of the town and congratulate its residents on their resilience in the face of adversity. He praised their “spirit of patriotism” and their commitment to rebuilding their community.
Since liberation, Lyman has been overwhelmed with volunteers from across Ukraine who have come to help rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals. The town has also received support from international organizations such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Mercy Corps.
Despite ongoing insecurity and sporadic violence, Lyman’s residents are making great progress in restoring their community. They are proud to be rebuilding their hometown together and looking forward to a brighter future.
The Resilient Return of Civilians to Lyman
Since the conflict in eastern Ukraine started in 2014, civilians have been fleeing the violence and instability that has gripped the region. However, a small community of civilians has remained in Lyman, a town that was liberated from the control of pro-Russian militant groups in October 2018. The resilience of these civilians is a testament to their determination and spirit, as well as to the support they have received from international organizations and volunteers.
Lyman was one of several towns that fell under control of pro-Russian militant groups during the conflict. In October 2018, Ukrainian forces liberated Lyman after months of hard fought battle. Since then, many civilians have returned to rebuild their lives. Despite ongoing threats from pro-Russian militants, who continue to harass and attack civilian communities across eastern Ukraine, Lyman remains resolute in its efforts to rebuild and move forward.
The resilience of these civilians is a testament to their determination and spirit, as well as to the support they have received from international organizations and volunteers. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has played an important role in providing relief assistance to civilian communities affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. ICRC teams have been working tirelessly to provide humanitarian assistance to those living amidst war-time conditions. In addition, through its partner organization Civilian Life Support Centre (CLSC), which provides psycho-social support services for survivors of violence and displacement, CLSC has also been helping Lyman residents heal wounds inflicted by years of political turmoil