Moscow has ordered the withdrawal of Russian troops from the strategically important city of Lyman. The Russian armed forces apparently suffered heavy losses. Putin’s henchman Ramzan Kadyrov is considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons. You can find all the latest news about the war in Ukraine in the ticker.

Monday, October 3, 10:12 a.m.: In the areas of Ukraine annexed by Russia, Moscow’s troops are still under massive pressure given the advance of Kiev’s armed forces. On Monday, the Russian occupiers from the Zaporizhia, Cherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions reported numerous attempts by Ukraine to break through front lines. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had previously reported new successes in retaking towns.

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin admitted the four regions to the Russian Federation on Friday under an internationally unrecognized treaty. The annexation, which has been criticized as a breach of international law, is only complete when numerous laws for the integration of the areas have been passed. The State Duma wanted to pass the laws on Monday. Subsequent approval by the Federation Council is considered a mere formality. Then Putin still has to sign the incorporation laws.

The occupiers assume that a major Russian offensive will then begin in the east and south of Ukraine. The separatist leader Denis Puschilin in Donetsk was confident on state television on Monday that the situation at the front would develop in favor of the occupiers. The partial mobilization brings new personnel and new technology to the combat areas, he said. “Therefore, the picture of what is happening at the front will change. In a positive way,” said Puschilin after numerous defeats by the Russian army, which also gave up the strategically important city of Lyman at the weekend. There are already successes in the Bachmut area, said Puschilin.

7:02 p.m .: According to its own statements, Russia has already stopped more than 180 conscript men trying to escape from entering the military on the border with neighboring Georgia. The Interfax agency reported on Sunday, citing the military commissariat of the Russian region of North Ossetia, which borders on the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia, that they were handed a draft notice directly at the Verkhni Lars border crossing.

The partial mobilization ordered by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin about ten days ago triggered a real mass exodus in Russia. Tens of thousands of men fled not only to Georgia in the South Caucasus, but also to the Central Asian ex-Soviet states of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In view of the influx of refugees, the North Ossetia region had imposed transit restrictions last week. In addition, it had already been announced that men of military age should now be checked more intensively at the border.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry said recruits would have to complete training in the “rear areas” of the combat zone. It had previously been said that the newly drafted men would initially be deployed in the immediate vicinity, but not in the war zone itself.

1:06 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Sunday the complete capture of the city of Lyman in the Russian-annexed Donetsk region. Since 12:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. CEST), the city has been “completely” liberated from the Russian military presence, Zelenskyy said in a video published on online networks. “Thanks to our military!”

The strategically important city of Lyman had been occupied by Moscow’s troops since the spring. On Saturday, the Ukrainian army surrounded the city and encircled several thousand Russian soldiers; later the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the withdrawal from the city.

The recapture of Lyman is Ukraine’s first major military victory in the territories annexed by Russia on Friday. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin completed the annexation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Cherson regions, which the West described as illegal under international law.

With the annexation, the Russian leadership made it clear that it would consider future attacks on these regions as attacks on Russian territory. In this case, the number two on the Russian Security Council, ex-President Dmitry Medvedev, had threatened the use of “strategic nuclear weapons”.

12:50 p.m .: Russia on Sunday attacked Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih in southern Ukraine with a suicide drone, Sky News reports. The drone struck a school in the Ukrainian president’s hometown and destroyed two floors of it, he said Governor of Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region Valentyn Reznichenko No casualties or deaths have been reported The attacks with heavy artillery and kamikaze drones flying at low altitudes lasted all night, they say.

The fire caused by the drone attack has since been extinguished, Reznichenko said. In recent weeks, Russia has begun using Iranian-made suicide drones to attack targets in Ukraine.

Russian attacks were also directed against the city of Zaporizhia, the authorities said on Sunday. The Ukrainian military said on Sunday they had attacked a Russian ammunition depot in the south of the country, in Chernihiv, hitting other Russian command posts, ammunition depots and two S-300 anti-aircraft batteries. The reports on the military activities could not be verified directly.

10.34 a.m .: When withdrawing from the strategically important eastern Ukrainian city of Lyman, the Russians suffered high losses, according to British secret services. The city in the eastern region of Donetsk had previously been defended by undermanned Russian units and reservists, according to the daily short report by the British Ministry of Defense on Sunday. Many soldiers were said to have died when retreating via the only road out of the city that was still under Russian control.

On Saturday – one day after the illegal annexation of several Ukrainian territories – Russia gave up the city of Lyman in a bitter defeat by the Ukrainian army. According to the Russian military, the armed forces have been withdrawn because of the risk of encirclement. Ukrainian authorities had previously spoken of around 5,000 surrounded Russian soldiers. So far, however, there has been no concrete information about the number of dead and prisoners.

According to the British, the withdrawal triggered a wave of public criticism of the military leadership in Russian government circles. Further defeats in the regions of the annexed territories are likely to further intensify this and increase the pressure on senior commanders.

1:20 a.m .: Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht was woken up early Sunday morning by another air raid alarm in the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. With other members of her delegation, the SPD politician had to seek shelter in the bunker of her hotel shortly before 1 a.m. After about 20 minutes the all clear was given and the minister was able to return to her room.

Lambrecht told the German Press Agency that she was surprised by the alarm while she was sleeping. For security reasons, she handed in her mobile phone before traveling to Ukraine to prevent them from being located. Otherwise she would probably still have been awake and would have read on her mobile phone, the minister said.

At around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, Lambrecht had to go into a bunker for 45 minutes during a meeting with her Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiy Resnikov because of an air raid alarm. Odessa is also regularly fired at by the Russian army with rockets and drones. The minister had traveled to Ukraine for the first time since the beginning of the war.

01:03: After the Russian withdrawal from Lyman, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the recapture of further areas controlled by Russia. “During the week, new Ukrainian flags waved over the Donbass,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Saturday evening. “There will be more in the coming week.” Ukrainian forces had previously reported an advance in the strategically important city in eastern Ukraine, which had been occupied by Russian troops since the spring.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry tweeted a video of soldiers holding up a Ukrainian flag next to a sign with the city’s name.

Shortly thereafter, Moscow confirmed the withdrawal of its troops from the city because of the “danger” of encirclement. Ukrainian army spokesmen had previously reported that thousands of soldiers had been surrounded near Lyman.

Lyman is located in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, for which Russia sealed the annexation by signing agreements on Friday, as did the three other Moscow-controlled regions of Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Cherson.

12:59 a.m .: Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) visited Ukraine for the first time since the beginning of the war. In the port city of Odessa, she met her Ukrainian colleague Oleksiy Resnikov on Saturday, according to the Federal Ministry of Defense. In particular, Ukraine needs air defense weapons, Lambrecht said during her visit to Ukraine in an interview with ARD “Tagesthemen”.

“According to the impressions I gained today, the focus is now on air defense and artillery,” she said. You have experienced “how the population is tormented with drones”. On the question of the tank deliveries demanded by Kyiv, Lambrecht reiterated the position of the federal government that Germany would not go it alone.

To support Ukraine with heavy weapons in the war against Russia, the German government has so far mainly supplied artillery and anti-aircraft systems. Modern tanks of the Leopard and Marder type, as demanded by Kyiv, have so far been refused by Berlin.

Lambrecht added that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats must be taken seriously. She “advises everyone not to trivialize it”. However, it should not lead to “that we let ourselves be paralyzed”. There are fears in the West that Putin might resort to nuclear weapons in the face of severe military setbacks in Ukraine. The Russian President has repeatedly threatened the use of nuclear weapons.

On Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, Lambrecht said that there was agreement in Brussels that NATO would not become a war party. This will remain so in the future. In response to Russia’s annexation of four Ukrainian regions, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Friday an application for his country’s rapid admission to NATO.

6:24 p.m .: Explosions have apparently occurred again at a military airport on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia. “According to the information of the rescue workers, a plane overshot the runway and caught fire,” wrote the Moscow-appointed governor of the city of Sevastopol, Mikhail Rasvozhayev, in the news service Telegram on Saturday. The fire brigade is on duty. However, videos circulating on social networks showed thick clouds of smoke with strong explosions. Observers suspected that an ammunition store could have caught fire.

The Ukrainian military has already struck several times at Russian Air Force bases on the peninsula. In August, for example, the military airport near Saki in Crimea was attacked. The Belbek military airport near Sevastopol is considered one of the most important for the Russian military.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and launched a major war of aggression against Ukraine on February 24. Following the example of the Crimea, Moscow is now trying to incorporate four more Ukrainian regions with the help of an annexation. Russia controls them only partially. And militarily, Moscow has recently had to cope with defeats, especially in eastern Ukraine.

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