Day 223 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russians Continue to Retreat from “Annexed” Territories

Ukraine | October 4, 2022, Tuesday // 10:06|  views

A BM-21 'Grad' multiple rocket launcher fires toward Russian positions in Donetsk

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Zelensky: It is impossible to defeat a nation that preserves its unity and knows what it is fighting for

Ukrainian forces have broken through Russian defenses in the southern part of the country. They are expanding their rapid offensive eastward, seizing more territory in areas annexed by Moscow and threatening supply lines to Russian troops.

Ukrainian troops broke through Russian positions on the Dnieper River, northeast of Moscow-controlled Kherson, the Russian military said, adding that there was heavy defensive fire. The President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced in his evening statement that "there are new liberated settlements in several regions". He said the fighting was continuing but gave no details:

"Fierce fighting continues in many areas of the front. But the outlook for them remains obvious - more and more occupiers are trying to escape, the enemy army will suffer more and more losses, and the understanding that Russia has made a mistake by has gone to war against Ukraine. It is impossible to defeat a people who preserve their unity and know what they are fighting for."

The advisor to the head of the head of state's office Oleksiy Arestovich also commented on the situation in Luhansk region. According to him, there is still a long way to go before the complete liberation of the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, and he described the situation in the region as complicated.

Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces captured the key eastern city of Lyman, located near Luhansk. The Russian military had turned the city into a logistics base. According to reports, the Ukrainians are moving towards the Russian-held towns of Kremennaya and Svatovo in Luhansk. Representatives of the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics reported in Telegram that the Russian army controls the city of Kremennaya, which is preparing to fight back against the Ukrainian military. According to them, the situation in the city is currently calm and there is no shelling.

To the south, the head of the pro-Russian administration of Kherson region, Vladimir Saldo, said Ukrainian forces had broken through near Dudchany and were now in control of several settlements in the region.

The Ukrainian offensive continues against the background of the procedural steps taken in Moscow to annex four Ukrainian regions. Today, it is expected that the documents for the accession of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions will also be ratified by the upper house of the parliament - the Federation Council, after they were voted unanimously by the State Duma yesterday.

The Institute of War: Ukraine has defeated elite Russian units in breakthroughs in Kherson Oblast and Lyman

The Ukrainian army routed elite Russian units in a breakthrough in the Kherson region on October 2 and 3, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its latest report on the fighting situation in Ukraine. According to five analysts who prepared the report, in the last 48 hours the VSU (Ukrainian Armed Forces) continued with significant successes in the Lyman region and in the Kherson region.

Geolocated footage confirms Monday's Russian claims of an "invasion of Ukraine" into the territory of the so-called Luhansk People's Republic, according to ISW, Ukrainians broke through the Luhansk Oblast border in the direction of Kremina. Ukrainian successes in the northern part of Kherson Oblast and on the Lyman Front were largely against units of the Russian Army, considered to be some of Russia's leading or elite conventional fighting forces before the war. Units of the 144th Motorized Rifle Division of the 20th Combined Arms Army were reported to have withdrawn from Lyman to rear positions near Cremina before October 2, Western sources reported that the Russians had withdrawn to safe positions 140 kilometers from Lyman.

Russian sources reported earlier that units of the Russian Airborne Forces, in particular the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division, are operating in the Kherson region. Both the 144th Motorized Rifle Division and the 76th Guards Assault Division were lauded before the war as some of Russia's most elite forces, and their apparent failures to hold territory against major Ukrainian counteroffensives confirms ISW's previous assessment that even the most elite Russian military forces increasingly degrade as the war continues. This phenomenon was also visible in the disintegration of the 4th Panzer Division from the 1st Guards Tank Army earlier in the counteroffensive near Kharkiv.

The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, continues to look for a scapegoat for the defeats at the front. Russian channel RBC, citing sources close to the authorities, reported on October 3 that Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov had replaced Colonel General Alexander Zhuravlev as commander of the Western Military District (WDM). So far, it appears that Russian forces in the Kharkiv region have been without a clear commander for the past few months, and Zhuravlev himself has not been seen for some time. Putin replaced two commanders of the Western military group in two weeks. The personnel changes in command posts are also seen as a possible attempt to protect Colonel-General Alexander Lapin, commander of the Central Military District, who was directly blamed by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov for the debacle at Lyman.

On Wednesday, the Russian State Duma approved the illegal annexation treaties of the occupied territories to Russia, but at the same time officials in Moscow said that border controls between the "new territories" and the Russian Federation should remain. The border between occupied Crimea and occupied Kherson is certainly preserved, and the Russian authorities continue to filter out residents of the Kherson region who travel to Crimea.

Kadyrov sends his three sons to the front in Ukraine

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced that his sons, who are 14, 15 and 16 years old, will go "to the front line" and "will be in the most difficult sections of the contact line".

According to Kadyrov, his sons Akhmat, Eli and Adam "from an early age" began military training - they learned to handle weapons, use them at any distance and master the theory.

"Ahmat, Eli, and Adam are ready to use their skills in the SVO zone. And I'm not kidding. It's time for them to prove themselves in real combat, and that's something I applaud them for. Soon they'll be sent to the front lines and be deployed in the most difficult sections of the contact line," Kadyrov wrote.

In addition, he addresses the Chechen warriors sitting on the couch and in front of their computer somewhere in Europe and calls them to go to war in Ukraine as well.

Here is his full message on his Telegram channel:

"Age should not interfere with the training of the defenders of our homeland. The grandchildren of the first president of the Chechen Republic, Hero of Russia Akhmat-Haji Kadyrov - Akhmat, Eli and Adam - are respectively 16, 15 and 14 years old. But their military training it started long ago, at an early age. It's not enough just to know how to shoot. They learn to handle different weapons, to use them at all distances, as well as the theoretical basics. I've always thought that the main goal of any father is to instill in his sons the fear of God and teach them to protect their family, people and country.If you want peace, prepare for war!

Ahmat, Eli and Adam are ready to use their skills in the SVO area. And I'm not kidding. It's time for them to prove themselves in a real fight and that's something I applaud them for. Soon they will be on the front lines and in the most difficult sections of the contact line.

I appeal to those who said that my relatives are not involved in SVO: in the near future you will have the opportunity to go to the positions guys and see for yourself that AHMAT is POWER! Show your spirit, your ideology and what you stand for. Prove you're at least a little bit of a man.

I am also addressing you, the Chechen warriors who are talking from the couch and sitting in front of the computers in Europe. Come on, move to Ukraine and convince us you don't wear skirts and hide behind them. We are convinced that even minor children will be able to beat you to dust because you have no spirit, honor and dignity. Wait!"

The sale of one-way tickets from Russia increased by 27%

The number of one-way tickets issued from Russia rose 27 percent after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization, according to Spain-based “Forwardkeys”, which analyzes ticket booking data, Reuters reported. In the week of mobilization, the increase was even 73 percent.

Some destinations such as Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Almaty and Dubai in the week between September 21 - when Putin announced the mobilization - and September 27 even saw a triple-digit increase in one-way tickets booked from Russia.

60 percent of tickets purchased in the week of the mobilization announcement have a departure date up to 15 days thereafter.

The mobilization of reservists caused thousands of men of fighting age to flee Russia.

Crimea for Russia, Donbas for Kyiv: Elon Musk proposed a peace plan for Ukraine on Twitter

Billionaire Elon Musk has proposed UN-supervised elections in the four Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions as part of his own plan to end the war in Ukraine.

According to the idea, the population should repeat the "referendums" organized by Russia at the end of September, after which Moscow annexed Luhansk, Donetsk and parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, but this time with guarantees from the UN for a fair poll.

"Russia is leaving if this is the will of the people," Musk wrote.

The world's richest man is proposing that Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014, be officially recognized as part of Russia, that its water supply be secured and that Ukraine remain neutral.

The Tesla CEO and SpaceX owner asked Twitter users for their opinion on his yes or no plan.

The idea was immediately rejected by senior government officials in Kyiv. And President Volodymyr Zelesky released his own poll on the social platform:

"Which @elonmusk do you like better?" Zelensky wrote, offering two answers: one who supports Ukraine, one who supports Russia.

"Dear @elonmusk, when someone tries to steal the wheels on your Tesla, that doesn't make them the legal owner of the car or the wheels. Even though they claim they both voted for it. Just saying," responded to the request for opinions the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda.

Musk said he didn't care if his proposal was unpopular, saying he did care "that millions of people could die needlessly for essentially the same result."

According to him, Moscow will call for full mobilization if Crimea is attacked. He also wrote that the casualties on both sides were appalling and that "I still very much support Ukraine, but I am convinced that a massive escalation of the war will cause great harm to Ukraine and possibly the world."

"Russia has >3x the population of Ukraine, so victory for Ukraine is unlikely in all-out war. If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace," he tweeted.

In February, when Ukraine's Internet was cut off after the Russian invasion, Musk made his Starlink high-speed Internet service available and provided more terminals, Reuters recalled.

"SpaceX's cost to activate and support Starlink in Ukraine so far is ~$80 million. Our support for Russia is $0. Obviously we are for Ukraine," Musk tweeted after his plan received thousands of negative comments.

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Tags: Russia, Ukraine, Kherson, Zelensky

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