Ukrainian troops in the liberated city of Lyman in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1655 GMT:
A Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian-held area of the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine has killed two local officials.
The attack on the city of Huliaipole slew the deputy head of the local administration, Oleksandr Kosarenko, and the chair of the municipal enterprise Blahoustriiservis, Oleksandr Savytskyi.
UPDATE 1459 GMT:
Vladimir Putin has ordered the Russian Government to take control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in occupied southern Ukraine and make it “federal property”.
The Russians seized the six reactors of the complex, the largest in Europe, in March. They have used the site as a military base, firing on Ukrainian-held territory across the Dnipro River, while allowing continued operations with 7,000 Ukrainian staff.
Ukraine’s State nuclear agency Energoatom said the document “has no practical significance”.
Last Friday Russian troops abducted the head of the plant, Igor Murashov amid reports that it might be transferred to the Russian atomic agency Rosatom.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday that Murashov had been returned to his family.
Putin’s decree came as Ukrainian staff told IAEA experts at Zaporizhzhia that they are preparing to restart one reactor “to produce steam and heat for the needs of the plant”.
UPDATE 1448 GMT:
The European Union has agreed to cap the price of Russian oil.
In the latest set of sanctions, the EU also barred trade in technical and consumer goods in a meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday.
The oil cap was confirmed after assurances were given to Greece, Cyprus and Malta, which have large shipping industries. They had sought guarantees that non-EU countries, such as India, would agree to the cap.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reacted:
I welcome the Member States’ agreement today on the 8th sanctions package.
We have moved quickly and decisively.
We will never accept Putin’s sham referenda nor any kind of annexation in Ukraine.
We are determined to continue making the Kremlin pay.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) October 5, 2022
UPDATE 1218 GMT:
Diplomatic tension is rising between Russia and former ally Kazazkhstan, which rejected Moscow’s demand for the expulsion of Ukraine’s ambassador to Astana.
Ambassador Petro Vrublevskiy said in an August interview with a local blogger that “the more Russians we kill now, the fewer of them our children will have to kill”.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday that Moscow is “outraged” at Vrublevskiy’s presence in Astana and has summoned the Kazakh ambassador.
Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov said today that Zakharova’s tone is “discordant with the nature of the allied relations between Kazakhstan and Russia as equal strategic partners”. The Russian ambassador will be summoned to the Ministry.
Before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Kazakhstan had been an ally of Moscow. Russia sent in military forces earlier this year to prop up President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev amid mass protests.
UPDATE 0748 GMT:
Leading Russian correspondents have conceded on State TV that Moscow’s forces are retreating in southern Ukraine.
“In the Kherson region, we have lost 17 settlements,” Alexander Sladkov said. Rather than acknowledging Ukraine’s forces, he blamed “fat” US weapons deliveries and “intelligence gathered via satellite reconnaissance”.
War correspondent Alexander Kots told Telegram followers on Tuesday that the military is in “operational crisis”. State media reporter Evgeniy Poddubnyy said, “For the time being it will become even harder.”
This doesn’t mean that we’ve collapsed like a house of cards. These mistakes aren’t gigantic strategic failures. We are still learning.
UPDATE 0730 GMT:
Russian forces have attacked with Iranian-made “kamikaze drones” south of the capital Kyiv and in Odesa city in southern Ukraine.
Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv region administration said one person was killed and fires were set at infrastructure facilities. He urged all residents “to remain in their shelters”.
Kirilo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Presidential office, said Russian forces attacked Odesa with a Shahed-136 drone. Air defenses were able to “detect and destroy [it] over the sea”.
UPDATE 0719 GMT:
As Russian forces retreat in the four occupied regions of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has signed the laws ratifying their annexation.
Putin named Denis Pushilin, the head of the Russian proxy “Donetsk People’s Republic”, as the top official in the Donetsk region.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has spoken of the breakthroughs by Ukraine’s military in the northeast, east, and south of the country, reversing the Russian invasion and raising the prospect of liberation of areas controlled by Moscow since 2014.
In his nightly address to the nation, Zelenskiy spoke of Monday’s advance of up to 30 km (19 miles) in the Kherson region in the south. The breaking of Russian lines accompanied earlier liberations in the northeast and east, including almost all of the Kharkiv region and Saturday’s recapture of the strategic city of Lyman:
The Ukrainian army is carrying out a pretty fast and powerful advance in the south of our country as part of the current defense operation. Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian sham referendum this week alone. In Kherson region, Kharkiv region, Luhansk region and Donetsk region altogether.
In particular, according to the military reports from the Kherson region: the settlements of Lyubymivka, Khreshchenivka, Zolota Balka, Bilyaivka, Ukrainka, Velyka and Mala Oleksandrivka, and Davydiv Brid were liberated from the occupier and stabilized. And this is far from a complete list…
Our warriors do not stop. And it’s only a matter of time before we oust the occupier from all our land.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian forces liberated several more settlements on the eastern bank of the Inhulets River in the Kherson region, forcing a further Russian retreat to the south toward Kherson city. The head of the Russian proxy administration confirmed that Kyiv’s troops now hold the town of Dudchany on the west bank of the Dnipro River.
The Ukrainians also cut two Russian lines of communication in the north of the region, hindering Moscow’s attempts to move troops and ammunition.
In the northeast, Ukrainian forces continued to advance east of the Oskil River, consolidating positions 20 km (12.5 miles) deep. The leader of the Russian proxy “Donetsk People’s Republic”, Denis Pushilin, said a new defensive line is being established around the town of Kreminna.
Mobilizing Support for Ukraine
Zelenskiy summarized his latest conversations with national leaders, seeking to mobilize and extend political, economic, and military support for Ukraine.
He spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, which has maintained a neutral position and increased its purchases of Russian oil, “about the success of our military” and “our view of Russia’s recent escalation steps” such as Vladimir Putin’s “partial mobilization” and “annexation” of occupied areas of Ukraine.
Making an implicit reference to India’s ongoing tensions with neighboring Pakistan and China, Zelenskiy said, “After all, if someone tries to steal the territory of a neighboring people, then some others may have a similar desire.”
He emphasized the need to stand up “for the principle of the inviolability of borders and the territorial integrity of states….I believe this is the same fundamental principle for India as it is for Ukraine.”
Zelenskiy also spoke with Giorgia Meloni, the radical right politician who is likely to become Italy’s next Prime Minister after election success last week.
In contrast to fellow radical right party leader Matteo Salvini — a Putin ally in the recent past — Meloni has spoken of the need to bolster Ukraine against the Russian aggression.
Zelenskiy hailed “a very substantive conversation…to further increase our interstate cooperation and strengthen our capabilities”:
On behalf of all Ukrainians, I thanked Italy for the powerful packages of defense support. We are looking forward to Mrs. Meloni’s official visit to Kyiv.
And on Tuesday evening, Zelenskiy thanked US President Joe Biden for the latest $625 million in American military aid, including the provision of more HIMARS medium-range rocket systems, and a financial support package of $12.5 billion approved last week.
Zelenskiy concluded with a pointed response to Putin’s “annexations”:
One more important thing.
I signed a decree designating null and void all decrees of the President of the Russian Federation and all acts adopted to implement these decrees for attempted annexation of our territory from 2014 until today. Any Russian decisions, any treaties with which they try to seize our land — all this is worthless.
Our Lyman after the occupier… All basics of life have been destroyed here. They are doing so everywhere in the territories they seize. This can be stopped in 1 way only: liberate Ukraine, life, humanity, law and truth as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/WInSrmQxsA
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 5, 2022