Our live coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine has moved here.
October 2, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news
By Maureen Chowdhury and Mike Hayes, CNN
Russian forces retreated from Lyman, a strategic city in Donetsk for its operations in the east, the Russian defense ministry said Saturday, just a day after Moscow’s annexation of four regions — including Donetsk — that’s been declared illegal by the West.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the key city was "completely liberated."
The retreat marks Ukraine’s most significant gain since its successful counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region last month.
Here are more of the latest headlines from Russia's war in Ukraine:
- 10 children killed in car convoy strike: The bodies of 22 civilians, including 10 children, were found following Russian shelling on a convoy of cars near the town of Kupiansk in eastern Ukraine, the Kharkiv regional prosecutor’s office said Saturday. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on Telegram it would be investigating the “war crime.”
- Zaporizhzhia plant director detained: The director general of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been detained by a Russian patrol, the president of state nuclear company Energoatom, Petro Kotin, said in a statement on Saturday. Director General Ihor Murashov was in his vehicle on his way from the plant when he was “stopped, he was taken out of the car, and with his eyes blindfolded he was driven in an unknown direction. Kotin and Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Russia to release him.
- Danish Energy Agency: “Stable pressure” appears to have been achieved on Nord Stream pipelines: “Stable pressure” appears to have been achieved on the Nord Stream pipelines, indicating the gas outflow from the leaks has now stopped, the Danish Energy Agency said Sunday. “The Nord Stream AG company has informed the Danish Energy Agency that a stable pressure now appears to have been achieved on the two Nord Stream 1 pipelines,” the agency said on Twitter, indicating that the gas leakage had now ended. The Danish agency on Saturday had already said on Twitter that “stable pressure” had also appeared to have been achieved on Nord Stream 2.
- Presidents of 9 NATO countries support Ukraine's membership: The presidents of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia and Romania expressed their firm support for "the decision of the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit regarding the future membership of Ukraine in the Alliance." The statement said; “We reiterate our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We do not recognize and will never recognize Russian attempts to annex any Ukrainian territory.”
- Putin submits draft legislation on the annexation of Ukrainian regions: Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted treaties on the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to the State Duma. The document was published in the Duma electronic database on Sunday. Putin also submitted bills on the accession of these regions, Russian state media TASS reported on Sunday, citing the press service of the State Duma Committee on State Construction and Legislation.
- Liberation of Lyman shows "Ukrainians are making progress" in war with Russia, NATO chief says: The liberation of the city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine shows “Ukrainians are making progress,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday. This gain by Ukraine “demonstrates that the Ukrainians are making progress, are able to push back the Russian forces,” Stoltenberg told NBC’s "Meet the Press" in an interview.
Ukraine’s commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces said Sunday he discussed military needs with the US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said via Telegram that he had a phone conversation with General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and “discussed the provision issues of the needs of the Defense Forces of Ukraine in repelling Russian armed aggression.”
The Ukrainian military leader also said he is “sincerely grateful to the entire American people and its leaders for the consistent and unwavering support of Ukraine in this hard time.”
The phone call came a couple of days after the US House of Representatives voted to provide around $12 billion for Ukraine. The House also requires the Pentagon to report on how US dollars have been spent there.
The $12 billion in additional funding for Ukraine provides money for the US to continue sending weapons to replenish US stocks that have been sent to the country over the past seven months during the ongoing conflict.
In order to continue providing Ukraine with weapons to counter Russia’s offensive, the bill allocates an additional $3 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. This pot of money allows the US to procure and purchase weapons from industry and send them to the country, instead of drawing directly from US stockpiles of weapons.
The bill also authorizes an additional $3.7 billion in presidential drawdown authority funding, which allows the US to send weapons directly from US stockpiles, and $1.5 billion is included to “replenish US stocks of equipment” provided to Ukraine, a fact sheet from Senate Democrats about the bill states.
The ghostly emptiness of the streets of Lyman in eastern Ukraine belies this city’s strategic significance.
There is no sign of Russian troops at all – few damaged Russian tanks, or Russian dead, or Russian prisoners. Members of the Ukrainian National Guard from the Dnipro-1 unit hover in small numbers on some streets.
The occasional rattle of gunfire, or thud of artillery, pierces the silence. A few locals emerge, riding bicycles, searching for food, bewildered about what is happening.
“One day I wear one cap, another day a different cap”, said one woman in tears, pretending to take off a hat.
“How can we live like this”, she said, referring to the changing control of the town.
CNN were likely the first media into the recently liberated city, arriving thirty minutes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared the town completely cleared of Russians troops.
Ukrainian officials and troops had spoken repeatedly of large numbers of Moscow’s better units being trapped there. Yet on Sunday there were few signs of encirclement to be seen.
Some officials said Russian corpses had already been cleared away, and prisoners removed. But locals offered another explanation: that Russian forces had left the city on Friday in an orderly fashion.
“They got on their tanks, and drove out”, said Tanya, riding her bicycle back to the bomb shelter, where she still spends the nights with 15 others.
Read more here.
“Stable pressure” appears to have been achieved on the Nord Stream pipelines, indicating the gas outflow from the leaks has now stopped, the Danish Energy Agency said Sunday.
“The Nord Stream AG company has informed the Danish Energy Agency that a stable pressure now appears to have been achieved on the two Nord Stream 1 pipelines,” the agency said on Twitter, indicating that the gas leakage had now ended.
The Danish agency on Saturday had already said on Twitter that “stable pressure” had also appeared to have been achieved on Nord Stream 2.
Earlier this week, four leaks were discovered on the Nord Stream pipelines near the Danish island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea. The cause of the incident is not yet confirmed but western officials have called this a deliberate act.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Russia’s “illegal referendums” on a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Sunday.
“The head of the Ukrainian state thanked the President of France for his strong condemnation of the illegal referendums in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions and Russia's attempts to illegally annex these territories of Ukraine,” Zelensky's office reported on Sunday.
The presidents agreed on “the need for a tough, consolidated response by the world community to this latest crime by the Russian Federation, in particular via boosting sanctions pressure.”
Zelensky emphasized the importance of enhancing defense support for Ukraine and discussed the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, emphasizing the need for its immediate demilitarization.
The presidents also called for the release of Ihor Murashov, the director general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, who was detained by a Russian patrol on Saturday.
US National security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Dr. Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesperson and chief advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Istanbul Sunday, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.
They discussed their continued support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggression, including their condemnation of Russia’s attempted, illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory,” Watson said, adding that Sullivan thanked Turkey for efforts toward food security.
Sullivan also thanked Turkey for its diplomatic work to secure the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war, as well as two American citizens, held by Russia,” referring to Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.
The presidents of nine NATO countries from Central and Eastern Europe issued a joint statement on Sunday condemning Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territories and calling on NATO to significantly increase military assistance to Ukraine.
The statement notes that the leaders of these countries “visited Kyiv during the war and witnessed with their own eyes the effects of Russian aggression.”
“We reiterate our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We do not recognize and will never recognize Russian attempts to annex any Ukrainian territory,” the statement said.
The presidents of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Slovakia and Romania expressed their firm support for "the decision of the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit regarding the future membership of Ukraine in the Alliance."
“We support Ukraine in its defence against Russia's invasion, demand Russia to immediately withdraw from all the occupied territories and encourage all Allies to substantially increase their military aid to Ukraine,” the statement continued.
The statement also called on “all those who commit crimes of aggression” to be held accountable and brought to justice.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted treaties on the annexation of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to the State Duma. The document was published in the Duma electronic database on Sunday.
Putin also submitted bills on the accession of these regions, Russian state media TASS reported on Sunday, citing the press service of the State Duma Committee on State Construction and Legislation.
"Four draft federal constitutional laws on the entry of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions into the Russian Federation have been submitted to the State Duma by the President of the Russian Federation," the press release said, as quoted by TASS.
According to TASS, the head of the committee, Pavel Krasheninnikov, whose words are quoted by the press service, said the State Duma will consider the bills on Monday, Oct. 3, and the Federation Council is scheduled to hold a meeting the next day.
The State Duma and Federation Council are Russia’s two houses of parliament. They are due to formally meet this week to discuss the annexation.
TASS reported that Krasheninnikov said that authorities in the annexed regions will be formed by June 1, 2023. The Russian ruble will become the only monetary unit and that until then the Ukrainian hryvnia will be allowed to circulate there. The armed forces of those regions are proposed to be included in the Russian Armed Forces.