Video of Ukraine Troops Dancing Ahead of Lyman Victory Viewed 1.6M Times

A video shared on Twitter on Thursday shows Ukrainian troops dancing before they saw victory in the city of Lyman, which they took back from Russian forces on Saturday.

"When you see that Ukrainian troops are about to encircle Lyman," Ukrainian journalist Oleksiy Sorokin, of the Kyiv Independent, wrote, tweeting out the video, which has now been viewed 1.6 million times.

The video shows the soldiers gathered indoors around what appears to be a military vehicle before the room is darkened and they dance, waving red lights in the air.

Another video, shared on Twitter by user Ilya Ayzin, reportedly shows Ukrainian troops swaying side-to-side as they walk toward Lyman.

"Armed Forces enter Lyman," Ayzin wrote. "Ours know how to ignite the mood."

RIA Novosti, a state-owned Russian media organization, reported the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed Saturday that Moscow had withdrawn troops from the Ukrainian city, which had been occupied since May.

The successful operation to take back the city came after a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military said on Friday that encirclement near the city was "at the final stage."

"All the approaches and logistic routes of the enemy, through which they delivered ammunition and manpower, are in fact under fire control [of Ukraine]," spokesperson Serhii Cherevatyi said.

Video Shows Ukrainian Troops Dancing Before Victory
Above, Ukrainian soldiers prepare to evacuate wounded people across a heavily damaged bridge on September 30 in Kupiansk, Ukraine. A video shared on Twitter shows Ukrainian troops dancing before they saw victory in the city of Lyman, which they took back from Russian forces on Saturday. Scott Peterson

Lyman is a city in Ukraine's Donetsk region—one of four regions where Russians held referendum votes to join Russia earlier this week. The results of the referendum votes were blasted by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, which called them a "propaganda show." Russian President Vladimir Putin used the votes as the basis to illegally annex the territories.

The Russian leader's annexation and the referendum votes have been widely criticized.

"Papers signed in the Kremlin don't determine who has sovereignty over Ukrainian lands. Ukrainian soldiers marching on Lyman do," Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, tweeted Friday.

"I strongly condemn Russia's illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. It is a serious violation of both international law and Ukraine's sovereignty," French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday.

Meanwhile, Ukraine stressed that the annexation would not alter its military goals of ultimately freeing all territory from Russian control.

"We will liberate our territory by military means. And our actions depend not so much on what the Russian Federation thinks or wants, but on the military potential Ukraine has," Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Newsweek has reached out to the Russian and Ukrainian defense ministries for comment.

After Russian troops withdrew from Lyman, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia's Chechen Republic, called on Putin to use nuclear weapons.

"I don't know what the RF Ministry of Defense reports to the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, but in my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons. It is not necessary to take every decision with an eye on the Western American community - it has already said so and done a lot against us," Kadyrov, an ally of Putin's who has supported the Russian invasion, said on Telegram.