Ukraine Latest: Russia's Lyman Fallout; US Pushes for More Aid

  • In World
  • 2022-10-02 07:24:51Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) --

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  • Ukraine Latest: US Sees Russia Pullout From Lyman as Encouraging

Ukrainian forces on Saturday recaptured a strategic eastern town after encircling Russian troops, challenging President Vladimir Putin's claim to have annexed the area. Russia's defense minister confirmed its forces had pulled out "amid a threat of encirclement." The UK said "undermanned" Russian troops probably suffered heavy casualties, and that the military's latest failure has led to sharp public criticism.

The US is willing to support Ukraine's finances with $1.5 billion a month and is pushing European allies to do the same, said people familiar with the matter.

Russia's state-controlled Gazprom suspended natural-gas deliveries to Italy on Saturday, escalating the energy crisis in Europe. Ukraine released video of what it said was the execution in late September of 24 people, including children, in a "gray zone" between occupied and unoccupied areas.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • US Eyes Regular Aid Payments to Ukraine, Pushes EU to Do More

  • Russia Halts Gas Supply to Italy in Latest Energy Battle

  • Russian Rapper Commits Suicide to Avoid Ukraine War Call-Up

  • Russian Troops Flee Key Eastern Ukraine Town in Latest Setback

  • Capturing the Image That's Defined the War on Ukraine

  • Chief Putin Critic Clinches Decisive Election Victory in Latvia

On the Ground

Russian troops are pursuing attacks against Ukrainian-held areas in the east and south, including civilian housing and infrastructure, Ukraine's military general staff said. Moscow's forces continue to stage missile, air and artillery strikes against military and civilian targets in dozens of settlements. Ukrainian forces struck Russian weapons complexes and military logistical sites, it said. A power station in the Odesa region and many residences in Mykolaiv were struck with "Iskander" and C-300 rockets Saturday. Smoke billowing near the Belbek airfield in Sevastopol, Crimea, was caused by an aircraft overrunning the landing strip and catching fire, the occupied region's governor said. Dramatic images of black smoke and what appeared to be munitions explosions flooded social media.

All times CET:

UN Agency in Touch With Russia Over Ukraine Nuclear Official's Detention (9 a.m.)

The International Atomic Energy Association is in touch with Russian authorities about what Ukraine has called the kidnapping of Ihor Murashov, director of the Zaporizhizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The UN agency "has been informed that Mr Murashov is in temporary detention," its director general, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said in a statement on Saturday.

"Such a detention of any member of the plant staff would be a source of grave concern in itself, but also for its psychological impact and pressure on the rest of the staff -- which is detrimental to nuclear safety and security," Grossi said.

US Eyes Regular Aid Payments to Ukraine, Wants EU Commitment (8:45 a.m.)

The US is willing to support Ukraine's finances with $1.5 billion a month in aid throughout the war against Russia and is pushing its European allies to commit to similar amounts, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Biden administration, which signed off last week on $4.5 billion in grants to cover the rest of the year, has held conversations with European Union officials -- including in recent days -- and has pressed Europe to do more, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Read more: US Eyes Regular Aid Payments to Ukraine, Pushes EU to Do More

Zelenskiy Vows to Push on In Donbas Campaign (8 a.m.)

After Kyiv's troops forced a Russian retreat from Lyman on Saturday, Ukraine's president vowed to press on with efforts to recapture land in the east claimed by Moscow last week after sham referendums.

"During this week, there were more Ukrainian flags in Donbas. It will be even more in a week," Voldymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation.

Russian officials "have already started biting each other" in a bid to assign blame for military setbacks, he said.

Russia Probably Suffered Heavy Casualties in Lyman Retreat, UK Says (7:30 a.m.)

Russian troops withdrawing from Lyman in Ukraine's east "probably experienced heavy casualties" on the only road out of town still in Moscow's hands, the UK defence department said in an update.

Lyman "was likely being defended by undermanned elements of Russia's Western and Central Military Districts," the UK said. It added that the withdrawal has led to a "wave of public criticism of Russia's military leadership by senior officials

Putin Critic Wins Latvian Election (6:54 a.m.)

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, a staunch critic of Vladimir Putin, won a decisive victory in general elections as voters punished a party backed by ethnic Russians, preliminary results show.

Bolstered by its vocal opposition of the Russian president's invasion of Ukraine, Karins's New Unity won 18.8% of the vote, according partial results showing 95% of polling stations counted.

Chief Putin Critic Clinches Decisive Election Victory in Latvia

Austin Says Retaking of Lyman Is Encouraging (11:30 p.m.)

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Ukrainian forces are creating "some really good effects" as they push to regain Russian-occupied territory, including the recapture of the strategic town of Lyman.

"We're very encouraged by what we're seeing right now," Austin told reporters in Honolulu alongside Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles.

Marles said the war has the potential to turn into a "protracted conflict," requiring support for Ukraine for an extended time. The "unprovoked aggression" by Russia "must not be allowed stand," he said.

Australia Sanctions Russian Officials (11:15 p.m.)

Australia imposed financial sanctions and travel bans on Russian-appointed officials in response to President Vladimir Putin's self-declared annexation of parts of Ukraine. "The areas of Ukraine currently occupied by Russian forces are the sovereign territory of Ukraine," said Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

The measures will target 28 separatists, ministers and other officials, some of whom are flouting international law by seeking to legitimize Russia's seizing of Ukrainian territory, according to the statement.

Attack on Civilians in 'Gray Area' Killed 24, Ukraine Says (6 p.m.)

Russian forces attacked a civilian convoy in Kupyhansk district of the Kharkiv region on Sept. 25, shooting people in private cars, Security Service of Ukraine officials said Saturday.

Video from the scene, in the so-called "gray zone" between occupied Svavtov in Luhansk, and liberated Kharkiv, has just come to light. Russian hasn't commented on the incident.

"Seven cars were shot, 24 people died, including 13 children and one pregnant woman," Interfax-Ukraine reported.

Moscow's Troops Out of Lyman in Battle Setback (5:25 p.m.)

Kyiv's forces on Saturday recaptured Lyman, a strategic town in the country's east, the second major victory in weeks and one that challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim to have annexed the area the day before.

The Russian defense ministry said its forces had "pulled out, amid a threat of encirclement, to more favorable positions."

Retaking Lyman, which Russian troops occupied in May, restores Kyiv's control over a key road and rail junction. It could pave the way for Ukraine's military to push deeper toward cities such as Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in the neighboring Luhansk region.

Russian Troops Flee Key Eastern Ukraine Town in Latest Setback

Russia's Gazprom Cuts Off Supplies of Gas to Italy (3:40 p.m.)

Russia's state-controlled Gazprom PJSC suspended natural gas deliveries to Italy on Saturday, escalating the energy crisis in Europe.

"As of today Gazprom is no longer delivering gas to Eni," said a spokesman for Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company.

Gazprom supplies Italy with gas through a pipeline that passes through Austria. The cutoff appeared to target just Italy, with Austria continuing to receive gas. Higher volumes of Russian gas were allocated to OMV than had been recently, a company spokesman said.

France Prepares New Caesar Cannons for Ukraine: Le Monde (3 p.m.)

France is preparing to deliver as many as 12 new Caesar cannons to Ukraine's force, the French daily reported on Saturday, without saying how it obtained the information. The weapons were initially destined to Denmark.

Technical talks are still ongoing, though an agreement in principle has been found between the French, Ukrainian and Danish governments.

An official at the French Ministry of Armed Forces declined to confirm the details of the report, beyond saying that France has supported Ukraine from the first days of Russia's invasion. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke Saturday with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Russian Rapper 'Walkie' Commits Suicide (2:54 p.m.)

The Russian who rapped under the name "Walkie" killed himself rather than risk being drafted to fight in Ukraine, after recording an online video telling fans of his decision, according to Russian media reports on Saturday.

Ivan Petunin, 27, said he had an exemption to the call-up because of psychological problems but feared the authorities' mobilization order would ultimately affect all draft-age men.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry Demands Return of Atomic Plant Official (1:46 p.m.)

Ukraine's foreign affairs ministry called on the international community -- including the United Nations and its nuclear agency, as well as the Group of Seven nations -- to help secure the release of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant director Ihor Murashov.

A Russian patrol seized Murashov on Friday afternoon and took him to an undisclosed location, Ukraine's state nuclear company Energoatom said in a Telegram post. Russian officials haven't commented on the claim.

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