A civilian convoy struck by Russian missiles in the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine, September 30, 2022 (Reuters)

Jump to Original Entry

Friday’s Coverage: Putin Announces Annexation of Occupied Areas

EA on Times Radio: Why A Weakened Putin Can’t Rely on Annexation of Ukraine

Source: Institute for the Study of War


The Russian withdrawal from Lyman has led to a raving combination of threats and desperation from Vladimir Putin’s subordinate Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, the governor of the Chechnya region, railed, “Due to a lack of elementary military logistics, today we have abandoned several settlements and a large piece of territory.”

Kadyrov said that two weeks ago he the possibility of defeat with Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s general staff, but the general had dismissed the idea.

He added that Col.-Gen. Alexander Lapin, commander of the forces in Lyman, is a “mediocrity” and should be demoted to private and stripped of his medals.

Kadyrov then offered his advice on reversing the Russian setbacks: “In my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, right up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons.”


Russia’s Defense Ministry confirms that its forces have withdrawn from the key city of Lyman in the Donetsk region.

The Russians had occupied the rail hub in May. Its liberation opens the way for Ukraine’s counter-offensive to advance further into the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In recent days, Ukrainian forces had almost encircled the city, threatening to isolate more than 5,000 occupying Russian troops (see 0817 and 1206 GMT).

See also Ukraine War, Day 218: Ukrainian Counter-Offensive in East Closes on Key City of Lyman

A senior Ukrainian military official said Lyman is “already liberated”: “A mop-up is ongoing. The Russians have nowhere to run.”

Russian military analysts reported that Ukrainian troops are in the center of Lyman, handing out food to residents. Shelling and small arms fire have stopped.

One said, “Whatever promises there were to send us reinforcements never materialized.”

In the nearby village of Shandrigolovo, Ukrainian soldiers pull down the Russian flag and stomp on it.


Ukrainian authorities have found the bodies of 20 people in a civilian convoy near the city of Kupyansk, liberated this month, in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

Governor Oleh Syniehubov said the victims, including a child, were probably killed as they attempted to flee Russian soldiers. The six cars were covered in bullet holes and burnt out.


Video from Friday of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and senior officials signing Kyiv’s formal application to join NATO:


Ukrainian troops have reached the city limits of Lyman in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine:

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, referring to Vladimir Putin’s decree of Russian “annexation” of the region on Thursday, said the Ukrainian army “will always have the decisive vote in today’s and any future ‘referenda’”.


President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has hailed Ukraine’s military as it surrounds Russian forces in a key city in the Donetsk region in the east of the country.

Having reclaimed most of the Kharkiv region this month, a Ukrainian counter-offensive now liberating areas of Donetsk seized by the Russian invasion. They are aiming to recapture the rail hub of Lyman.

The head of the Russian proxy “Donetsk People’s Republic”, Denis Pushilin, acknowledged on Friday that the villages of Yampil and Drobysheve near Lyman “are no longer fully controlled” by Russian forces.

Zelenskiy said:

We have significant results in the east of our country. There is already enough public information about this. Everyone has heard what is happening in Lyman, Donetsk region. These steps mean a lot to us.

We must liberate our entire land and this will be the best proof that international law and human values cannot be broken by any terrorist state, even one as insolent as Russia.


The US Congress has authorized another $12.35 billion in financial and economic assistance to Ukraine.

The aid was included in funding legislation to avert a US Government shutdown. President Joe Biden immediately approved the package.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote Biden:


The Ukrainian director general of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine has been detained by Russian troops.

Energoatom, the Ukrainian State nuclear agency, said Ihor Murashov was seized from his car on his way from the plant to the town of Enerhodar about 4 pm on Friday. He was blindfolded and taken to an unknown location.

Russia continues to refuse calls to demilitarize the plant, Europe’s largest, and to withdraw troops. The occupiers use the position to shell Ukrainian-held territory across the Dnipro River.

Energoatom head Petro Kotin said Russia is trying to transfer the plant where 7,000 Ukrainians work, to the Russian energy firm Rosatam. He assessed that the Russians are trying to make Murashov, who oversees plant safety, “accept this move”.


The World Bank is delivering another $530 million in support to Ukraine, supported by $500 million from the UK and $30 million from Denmark.

The Bank has authorized $13 billion in assistance during the Russian invasion, fully disbursing about $11 billion.


Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, introduced by the US and Albania, condemning Vladimir Putin’s annexations of occupied territory in eastern and southern Ukraine.

China, India, Brazil, and Gabon abstained.

Turkey has joined the international community’s condemnation of the annexation:

This decision, which constitutes a grave violation of the established principles of international law, cannot be accepted. We reiterate our support to the resolution of this war, the severity of which keeps growing, based on a just peace that will be reached through negotiations.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: A Russian strike on a civilian convoy killed at least 30 people and injured almost 100 on Friday.

Russian forces fired 16 S-300 missiles on the Ukrainian-held part of the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine. Four of them landed near 60 cars and vans were awaiting entry into Russian-occupied territory — some people delivering aid to relatives, some bringing family back to Ukrainian areas, others returning to homes in locations such as the port city of Mariupol.

The missiles sprayed shrapnel on the vehicles, which were packed with belongings, blankets, and suitcases. Victims perished in their cars. One man was still gripping the steering wheel with his left hand. A woman and young man were slain, their cat also lying dead in the backseat.

Others managed to stagger a few steps before dying. Two women, who had been talking next to a car, lay with broken and twisted limbs. One person collapsed next to the wheelie case he or she was pulling.

The attack came hours before Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of the Russian-occupied area of Zaporizhzhia, as well as parts of three other Ukrainian regions.

Zaporizhzhia Governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote, “The occupiers struck defenseless Ukrainians. This is another terrorist attack by a terrorist country.” His spokesman Volodymyr Marchuk explained:

It’s a logistics hub to allow people go into the temporarily Russian occupied territories. The Russians only accept 150 cars a day so that’s why we created a program, where people could come register and get their number in line.

So at 7:15 in the morning there were a large number of cars waiting for the turn to cross, mostly people who want to go to and drop off aid to relatives and maybe pick up people who want to leave on the way back.

They hit that queue with an S-300 missile. There’s no doubt it is a deliberate war crime. They always say they are aiming at a military object and hit something else. But there are no military objects near that site. That’s why there’s no doubt that’s it’s a terrorist act.

Later on Friday, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy responded:

Only complete terrorists can do this, who should have no place in the civilized world. The enemy rages and seeks revenge for our steadfastness and his failures. It cynically destroys peaceful Ukrainians, because it lost everything human a long time ago.

Bloodthirsty scum. You will definitely answer for every lost Ukrainian life.

Amid the Kremlin ceremony for “annexation”, Vladimir Putin made no comment. However, Russian proxy leaders tried to blame the Ukrainian military for the mass killing.