Russian TV Aghast at Ukraine Advance: 'We Are Retreating–What's Happening?'

Russian State TV host Sergey Mardan confronted a former military commander on why Russia was unable to prevent Ukraine from taking back Lyman following the defeat.

Russia's loss of Lyman, which is located in the Donetsk region and was being used as a transport and logistics hub, presented a fresh blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin as he escalated the war by annexing four regions of Ukraine.

The Russian State TV host's guest, Andrey Gurulyov, the former deputy commander of Russia's southern military district, said he was unable to give a valid reason for the failings.

The video has since gone viral on Twitter and has been viewed more than 900,000 times after being posted by The Daily Beast's Julia Davis.

"Stunned reactions keep coming in with respect to Ukraine reclaiming Lyman," she wrote.

"Andrey Gurulyov said he couldn't explain the defeat. He blamed [it] on a system of lies 'top to bottom' and was suddenly disconnected."

Mardan also appeared to give a more pessimistic overview of Russia's current efforts in Ukraine.

"Unfortunately, we're having a day of not-so-good news but thank God we don't have to be quiet about them like it was with the Kharkiv regrouping," the host said.

"The Defense Ministry officially announced that Krasnyi Lyman was abandoned.

"Explain to us: Did you anticipate this, or not? Was it inevitable or anticipated? Why did it happen? For several months now, not only are we not advancing, we are retreating, what's happening?"

Gurulyov said that he had no explanation for why Lyman was not held and highlighted what he believed needed to be done to prevent it.

"From a military standpoint, I can't explain it. Perhaps this is a landmark milestone, not in the military sense, but also politically," he said.

"I honestly can't understand why after all this time, they couldn't accurately appraise the situation. Why they didn't make a decision to reinforce the group that was defending Lyman.

"No matter how heroically they fought, there's an elementary calculation of military capabilities which shows whether Lyman could be held, or not."

Gurulyov went on to criticize Russian leadership and suggested there was a problem of lying from "top to bottom."

"The problem we have is the constant delivery of good reports, or you can call it constant lying. This system does not go from bottom to the top, but top to bottom."

He was then cut off with the host saying it was due to connectivity issues.

In a follow-up tweet, Davis said that he was later re-connected, but "didn't say much else about Lyman or endemic lying."

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.

Russia Vladimir Putin speech
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the signing ceremony with separatist leaders on the annexation of four Ukrainian regions at the Grand Kremlin Palace, on September 30, 2022 in Moscow, Russia. Speaking on Russian State TV Andrey Gurulyov said he could give no explanation as to why Russia could not prevent Ukraine from retaking Lyman. Getty