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Ukraine claims control of Russian logistics center, wants to cut more supply lines

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KYIV – Ukraine claimed complete control of Russia’s eastern logistics center, Lyman, its biggest battlefield gain in weeks, paving the way for further progress aimed at reducing Russian supply lines to its battered forces on a single route.

The painful blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin came after he announced Friday the annexation of four regions covering nearly one-fifth of Ukraine, an area that includes Lyman. Kiev and the West have condemned the proclamation as an illegal farce.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the capture of the city, where Ukrainian flags were hoisted over public buildings on Saturday, demonstrated Ukraine’s ability to expel Russian troops and demonstrated the impact of Ukraine’s deployment of advanced Western weapons. on the conflict.

A destroyed Russian APC stands in the yard of a privet house in front of a church in Izium, Ukraine, on October 2, 2022.
AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the success of the country’s soldiers was not limited to Lyman.

Ukrainian forces had also liberated the small settlements of Arkhanhelske and Myrolyubivka in the Kherson region, he said.

The Ukrainian Interfax agency reported that according to Serhiy Cherevatyi, spokesman for the Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces, Ukrainian forces recaptured Torske, a village in the Donetsk region, about 15 km (9 miles) east of the now-liberated Lyman.

A ruined bridge over the Siverskyi-Donets River can be seen in the recently liberated city of Izium on October 2, 2022.
A ruined bridge over the Siverskyi-Donets River can be seen in the recently liberated city of Izium on October 2, 2022.
AP

Reuters could not immediately verify the messages.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday it was withdrawing troops from the Lyman area “in connection with creating a threat of encirclement”.

It made no mention of Lyman in its daily update on Sunday, though it said Russian forces had destroyed seven artillery and missile depots in Ukraine’s regions of Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv and Donetsk.

Russian forces had captured Lyman from Ukraine in May and used it as a hub for their operations in the north of the Donetsk region. The recapture by Ukrainian forces is Russia’s biggest battlefield loss since Ukraine’s lightning strike in September in the northeastern region of Kharkov.

Control of Lyman could be a “key factor” in helping Ukraine regain lost territory in the Luhansk region, whose full conquest Russia announced in July after weeks of crushing progress, Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said.

Ukrainian Armed Forces make a statement in front of Lyman Town's administrative office in Lyman, Ukraine, on October 1, 2022.
Ukrainian Armed Forces make a statement in front of Lyman Town’s administrative office in Lyman, Ukraine, on October 1, 2022.
Oleksiy Biloshytskyi via REUTERS

Lyman’s operational importance was due to his command of a crossing of the Siverskyi Donets River, beyond which Russia has attempted to consolidate its defenses, the British Defense Ministry said.

“Thanks to the successful operation in Lyman, we are moving towards the second north-south route… and that means a second supply line will be disrupted,” said Reserve Colonel Viktor Kevlyuk of the Center for Defense Strategies think tank in Ukraine.

“In that case, the Russian group in Luhansk and Donetsk could only be supplied through the (Russian) region of Rostov,” Kevlyuk told media outlet Espreso TV.

A view shows a destroyed Russian armored personnel carrier in the liberated village of Kamianka in Ukraine on October 2, 2022.
A view shows a destroyed Russian armored personnel carrier in the liberated village of Kamianka in Ukraine on October 2, 2022.
REUTERS

The Ukrainian army said early Monday that Russian forces had used rockets, airstrikes and artillery in attacks on 35 settlements in the past 24 hours. The Ukrainian Air Force had attacked a command post, weapons depots and an anti-aircraft missile complex, as well as a helicopter, an attack plane and eight drones, it said.

The governor of the Zaporizhzhya region said Russian forces had attacked the city of Zaporizhzhya and nearby villages overnight with at least 10 rockets.

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

A destroyed Russian tank is seen on a road amid the Russian attack on Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region on October 2, 2022.
A destroyed Russian tank is seen on a road amid the Russian attack on Ukraine, in the Kharkiv region on October 2, 2022.
REUTERS

REGIONS ATTACHED

The areas that Putin claimed had been annexed just over seven months after the Russian invasion of his neighbor – Donetsk and Luhansk plus Kherson and Zaporizhzhya in the south – equal about 18% of Ukraine’s total area.

The Russian parliament should consider bills and ratification treaties on Monday to include the regions, Russian lower house speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said.

A pomp-filled signing ceremony in the Kremlin with Russia-installed regional leaders on Friday failed to stem a wave of criticism within Russia over the way the military operation is being handled.

A member of Ukrainian troops takes down a Donetsk Republic flag raised on a monument in Lyman, Ukraine.
A member of Ukrainian troops takes down a Donetsk Republic flag raised on a monument in Lyman, Ukraine.
Oleksiy Biloshytskyi via REUTERS

Putin ally Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Russian region in southern Chechnya, called on Saturday for a change of strategy “until the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons”. The United States says it will respond resolutely to any use of nuclear weapons.

Other aggressive Russian figures on Saturday criticized generals and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on social media for overseeing the setbacks but stopping attacking Putin.

The United States was “greatly encouraged” by Ukraine’s gains, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Sunday.

Remains of the St. George Monastery in the village of Dolyna are on display in Donetsk, Ukraine on October 2022.
Remains of the St. George Monastery in the village of Dolyna are on display in Donetsk, Ukraine on October 2022.
OLEG PETRASYUK/EPA-EFE/Shutterst

Pope Francis on Sunday called on Putin to stop “this spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine and also called on Zelensky to be open to any “serious peace proposal”.

Zelensky said on Friday that peace talks with Russia while Putin was president would be impossible. “We are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but with another president of Russia,” he said.

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