Russia withdraws troops from major cities as Ukrainian forces approach – National

Russia announced on Saturday that it had withdrawn its troops from the once-occupied city of Lyman.

Russia’s TASS and RIA news agencies quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.

Lyman is located 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city. Ukrainian forces advanced across the Oskir River as part of a counteroffensive, and Kyiv recaptured vast territories beginning in his September.

An important transport hub, Lyman was an important location for both ground communications and logistics on the Russian frontline. Now that it’s gone, Ukraine could make further inroads into the occupied Luhansk region. The region is one of four that Russia annexed on Friday after being held at gunpoint in an internationally criticized referendum.

This is breaking news. Here’s AP’s previous story:

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Ukrainian forces laid siege to the strategically important eastern city of Lyman on Saturday, launching a counterattack that humiliated the Kremlin, but Russian artillery fire slammed the war into a sharp escalation that saw Moscow seize swathes of Ukrainian territory. Intensified after illegal annexation.

In the northeast, Ukrainian authorities have accused Russian forces of attacking a civilian evacuation convoy, killing 20 people, including children. In the south, a Ukrainian nuclear power plant said on Saturday that Russian forces had blindfolded and detained the director of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

The battle takes place at a pivotal moment in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war. Faced with Ukraine’s victory on the battlefield, Putin this week raised the threat of his nuclear arsenal and used his most aggressive and anti-Western rhetoric yet.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his army have vowed to continue fighting to liberate annexed territories and other Russian-occupied territories, even though Purtin seized four regions of Ukraine on Friday. rice field.

Ukrainian officials said Saturday that Ukrainian forces had surrounded some 5,000 Russian troops who were trying to hold the eastern city of Lyman, located in Luhansk, one of four annexed regions.

President Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, posted a video online Saturday that he claims shows a Ukrainian soldier waving a signed Ukrainian flag at a memorial outside Ryman. It remains unclear whether Ukrainian forces have entered the city itself. Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai claimed that all routes supplying Russian troops at Lyman had been blocked.

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Canada introduces new sanctions on Russia over annexation of Ukraine region

Canada introduces new sanctions on Russia over annexation of Ukraine region

Russia has not confirmed that its own forces have been cut off, and Russian analysts said Moscow was sending more troops to the region.

But the War Research Institute, a Washington-based think tank, said Ukraine is likely to recapture Lyman in the coming days.

Citing Russian reports, the Institute said that Russian forces appeared to be withdrawing from Raiman, 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkov. This corresponds to an online video that allegedly shows some Russian troops retreating.

Ukrainian officials, meanwhile, have accused Russian forces of recently targeting two humanitarian aid convoys and killing dozens of civilians.

On Saturday, Kharkiv region governor Olev Sinievbov said 20 civilians had died in an attack on a convoy of people trying to flee the Kupiansky district, calling it an “unjustifiable atrocity”.

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The Ukrainian Security Service, known by the acronym SBU, posted a photo of the convoy that was attacked. At least he had one truck seemingly blown up, leaving a charred corpse in the truck bed. Another vehicle at the head of the convoy was also on fire. Bodies lay on the side of the road or in cars with bullet holes that looked like pockmarks.

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The SBU said the convoy was hit with “small arms fire”, but the governor said he was hit by artillery fire. The discrepancy was not immediately resolved. The exact date of the attack has not been announced.

The Russian military has not acknowledged the attack and has not commented. Russian forces have withdrawn from much of the Kharkov region after a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive last month, but continue to shell the area.

According to Ukrainian state-owned nuclear energy company Energoatom, the Russian military removed the director of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Ihor Murashov, on Friday afternoon 4 in a clear attempt to secure Moscow’s control over the newly annexed territory. restrained from time to time. That was just hours after President Putin signed a treaty to absorb Moscow-controlled Ukrainian territories into Russia, including the area surrounding the nuclear power plant.

Energoatom said Russian forces stopped Murashov’s car, blindfolded him, and took him to an undisclosed location.

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Russia did not publicly comment on the report. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Saturday that Russia said “the director of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has been temporarily detained to answer questions.” The Vienna-based agency did not immediately elaborate.

“His detention (by Russia) jeopardizes the safety of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant,” said Energoatom president Petro Kocin, demanding the immediate release of the director.

The power plant was repeatedly involved in war firefights. Ukrainian engineers kept the plant running after Russian forces took over it, and the last reactor was shut down in September as a precautionary measure amid continuing shelling nearby.

In the heaviest barrage in weeks, Russian forces hit a Ukrainian city on Friday with missiles, rockets and suicide drones, killing 30 and wounding 88 in a single attack in the capital of the Zaporizhia region. .

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More Russians flee country as Putin conscripts peasants into army

More Russians flee country as Putin conscripts peasants into army

At its daily briefing on Saturday, the UK Defense Ministry said the Russians had “almost certainly” hit the humanitarian convoy with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. The British military said Russia may increasingly use anti-aircraft missiles for ground attacks, likely due to a shortage of military supplies.

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The attack occurred as President Putin was preparing to sign an annexation treaty involving the Zaporizhzhya region. Officials stationed by Russia in Zaporizhia accused the Ukrainian military, but provided no evidence.

In other fighting reported on Saturday, Russian artillery fire in the Donetsk region killed four people and wounded six on Friday, Governor Pablo Kirilenko reported.

Russian forces also attacked the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv twice in one night, according to regional governor Vitaly Kim. The first is a drone, the second is a missile. Five people, including a 3-month-old baby, were injured.

After Friday’s land requisition, Russia now claims sovereignty over more than 15 percent of Ukraine, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called it the “largest armed annexation of European territory since World War II.” It’s called ‘try’. He added that the war was at a “pivotal moment”.

Zelensky formally applied for NATO membership on Friday, putting pressure on Western allies to defend Ukraine.

In Washington, President Joe Biden on Friday signed into law a bill that would provide an additional injection of military and economic aid to Ukraine.

© 2022 Canadian Press

Russia withdraws troops from major cities as Ukrainian forces approach – National

Source link Russia withdraws troops from major cities as Ukrainian forces approach – National

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