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A look at the destruction inside a town recaptured by Ukraine

Ukraine's rapid counteroffensive on multiple fronts is gaining pace by the hour as forces penetrate Russian defense lines in the Kherson region in the south, while pushing further into the eastern Donbas region after recapturing the strategic city of Lyman.

CBS News traveled to Lyman on Wednesday to see the scars of the ferocious battle that raged for days as Ukrainian forces clawed back territory.

The trail of destruction leading up to Lyman stretches for miles. A local resident told CBS News that most of the damage was done in the days just before the liberation of the city.

A bombed-out convoy with vehicles used by Russian soldiers who tried to escape the onslaught was found further down the road. Among the soldiers' scattered belongings were Russian anti-tank mines. Bodies of Russian soldiers laid in the road in the immediate aftermath of the fighting.

The city center was in tatters, pummeled by both sides of this conflict.

Once a population of more than 20,000, the few remaining residents emerged grateful for the humanitarian aid workers who came, bringing a few loaves of bread. There is no electricity, no running water and no heat for their homes, with winter on the way and no guarantee the Russians won't return to wrestle this city back.

Col. Sirhiy Cherevatyi, who took part in the fight, told CBS News that the victory was down to strategy and western-supplied weapons. "Artillery was very important," Cherevatyi said. "American weapons and of course the HIMARS." He said recapturing Lyman was not just a military loss for Russia, but a blow to Russian morale.

Troops have since advanced at least another 12 miles east of the city.

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