Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 223 of the invasion

The Guardian
The Guardian
A Ukrainian serviceman smokes a cigarette after he finds and identifies a dead body of a comrade in recently recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine, Monday, 3 October 2022.
  • The upper house of Russia’s parliament has voted to approve the incorporation of four occupied Ukrainian regions into Russia, as Moscow sets about formally annexing territory it seized from Kyiv since staging its latest invasion of Ukraine in February. In a session on Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously ratified legislation to annex the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, following a similar vote in the state Duma, Russia’s lower house, yesterday. No lawmakers in the lower house voted against the bill either.
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a decree formally declaring the prospect of any Ukrainian talks with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin “impossible”. The decree formalised comments made by Zelenskiy on Friday after the Russian president proclaimed the four occupied regions of Ukraine were to become part of Russia.
  • Russia, however, no longer has full control of any of the four provinces it claims to annex, after Ukrainian troops reportedly advanced dozens of kilometres in Kherson province. The Russian military has acknowledged that Kyiv’s forces had broken through in the Kherson region. It said the Ukrainian army and its “superior tank units” had managed to “penetrate the depths of our defence” around the villages of Zoltaya Balka and Alexsandrovka.
  • On Monday, Putin’s spokesperson said the Kremlin would consult with residents of the areas it has “annexed” to determine where the borders should be, suggesting Russia does not know where its new self-declared international borders are. Putin has vowed to protect Russia’s newly claimed territories using “all means at its disposal”, indicating a potential nuclear strike. The lack of a clear red line may undermine his attempts at using nuclear deterrence to halt Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive and western support for Kyiv.
  • Ukraine has “fully cleared” Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman, Zelenskiy confirmed on Monday, a day after Moscow admitted its troops had pulled out after they were encircled.
  • Russia’s retreat from Lyman has sparked vociferous criticism of the handling of the war on Russian state television. Vladimir Solovyov, host of a primetime talkshow on state TV channel Russia 1 and one of the Kremlin’s biggest cheerleaders, said on air on Sunday. “We need to pull it together, make unpopular, but necessary decisions and act.”
  • Lyman’s recapture by Ukrainian troops is Russia’s largest battlefield loss since Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in September.
  • Russias’s ministry of defence spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, said Russian troops had occupied what he called a “pre-prepared defensive line”. His comments are an admission that Ukraine’s southern counter-offensive is dramatically gaining pace, two months after it began.
  • Russia is at risk of losing control of the strategic towns critical to retaining the city of Kherson and eventually Crimea, western officials said, but they warned the fighting along the Dnipro River “will not be an easy rush into constrained territory”.
  • The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has claimed that in the last 24 hours two people were injured on the territory it occupies, and 13 houses and 12 civil infrastructure were damaged by fire from the Ukrainian armed forces.
  • More than 200,000 people have been called up for military service since Russia announced a “partial mobilisation” two weeks ago, according to the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.
  • A Russian court has fined the streaming service Twitch 4m roubles (£60,000/$68,000) for failing to remove an interview with a Ukrainian political figure. The court said the interview violated Russian laws on the spreading of fake information.
  • North Korea has become the only UN member state apart from Russia to recognise the “results” of the Moscow-backed “referendums” in the occupied areas of Ukraine.
  • Diplomatic relations between Russia and Japan continue to deteriorate. Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has ordered a Russian consul in Sapporo to leave Japan by 10 October.
  • European Union finance ministers agreed Tuesday to integrate the EU’s support payments to Ukraine into its 2023 budget to make payments more structured and predictable, European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said.
  • The British government has said it has imposed a travel ban and an asset freeze on Sergei Yeliseyev as part of its broader sanctions against Russia.
  • Ukraine needs to revamp its labour laws and redouble efforts to privatise thousands of companies to repair its economy, its president’s economic adviser has said. Alexander Rodnyansky, an adviser to the president, said the war-torn country needed to speed up efforts to reform industries as it looked to rebuild after Russia’s invasion.
  • Elon Musk has prompted an online row with Zelenskiy after he asked Twitter users to weigh in on his ideas to end Russia’s war. In a tweet, Musk suggested UN-supervised elections in four occupied regions that Moscow has falsely annexed after what it called referendums. Zelenskiy responded with his own poll. “Which @elonmusk do you like more?,” he wrote, offering two responses: one who supports Ukraine, or supports Russia. The Kremlin has praised the Tesla boss, with Kremlin spokesperson Peskov saying “It is very positive that somebody like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of this situation.”
  • The US will deliver four more of the advanced rocket systems to Ukraine. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, will be part of a new $625m aid package to be announced on Tuesday, according to US officials.
  • The head of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been released, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi. Ihor Murashov was detained on Friday by a Russian patrol as he travelled from the Zaporizhzhia plant to the town of Enerhodar, according to the state-owned company in charge of the plant.
  • Russia has put Marina Ovsyannikova, the former state TV editor who interrupted a news broadcast to protest against the Ukraine war, on a wanted list after she reportedly escaped house arrest. The Ukrainian-born Ovsyannikova, 44, gained international attention in March after bursting into a studio of Channel One, her then employer, to denounce the Ukraine war during a live news bulletin.

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