Ukraine war – live: Russian forces ‘fully cleared’ in Lyman, says Zelensky

Ukraine is in full control of the eastern logistics hub of Lyman, Kyiv’s most significant battlefield gain in weeks.

“As of 1230 (0930 GMT), Lyman is fully cleared,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a short video clip on his Telegram channel today.

It comes as the US defence secretary Lloyd Austin has welcomed Ukraine’s capture of the city and said the taking of the former Russian stronghold makes the war “more difficult” for Putin.

Mr Austin told a news conference on Sunday he was “very encouraged” after Saturday’s success by Ukrainian military forces.

He noted that Lyman was positioned across supply lines that Russia has used to push its troops and materiel down to the south and to the west, as the Kremlin presses its more than seven-month-long invasion of Ukraine.

“Without those routes, it will be more difficult. So it presents a sort of a dilemma for the Russians going forward.”

Ukrainian soldiers announced the capture on Saturday in a video recorded outside the town council building in the centre of Lyman and posted on social media by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of president Volodymyr Zelensky’s office.

Key Points

  • Russian defeat in Lyman makes war ‘more difficult’ for Putin, says US defense secretary

  • Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

  • Lyman is ‘fully cleared’ of Russian forces, says Zelensky

  • Pope Francis urges Vladimir Putin to ‘stop this spiral of violence and death' in Ukraine

Ukraine takes back territory in two more regions claimed by Russia in ‘pseudo-referendums’, says Zelensky

04:43 , Arpan Rai

Volodymyr Zelensky announced Ukrainian troops have reclaimed two settlements over the weekend in the Kherson oblast, which was claimed by Russia at the end of last week in an illegal land-grab.

“This week, the largest part of the reports is the list of settlements liberated from the enemy as part of our defence operation. The story of the liberation of Lyman in the Donetsk region has now become the most popular in the media. But the successes of our soldiers are not limited to Lyman,” Mr Zelensky said in his late night address on Sunday.

He said that when the Ukrainian flag is returned to places where pseudo-referendums were held, “no one remembers the Russian farce with some pieces of paper and some annexations”.

“Except, of course, the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine. Because everyone who is involved in any elements of aggression against our state will be accountable for it,” Mr Zelensky warned.

Ukraine marked a significant territorial success on Sunday after it fully cleared the Lyman city of Russian forces and claimed control over the territory.

Sunday 2 October 2022 23:36 , Holly Bancroft

Thanks for following along with our coverage this evening. We are pausing the live blog for now but here is the latest story from Ukraine:

Key Donetsk town liberated and under full Ukrainian control, Zelensky says

US defence secretary: Putin may not be bluffing on nuclear

Sunday 2 October 2022 23:32 , Holly Bancroft

The US defence secretary has said that Vladimir Putin may not be bluffing with his threats on nuclear weapons.

Lloyd Austin told CNN: “There are no checks on Mr Putin. He made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, he could make another decision.”

The White House has been examining how they would respond to a potential nuclear attack on Ukraine by Putin, according to The New York Times.

Petraeus: US would destroy Russia’s troops if Putin uses nuclear weapons

Sunday 2 October 2022 23:02 , Holly Bancroft

Former CIA director David Petraeus has said that the US would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine if Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons in the country.

He told ABC News: “Just to give you a hypothetical, we would respond by leading a Nato - a collective - effort that would take our every Russian conventional force that we can see and identify on the battlefield in Ukraine and also in Crimea and every ship in the Black sea.”

 (AP)
(AP)

Zelensky: Success not limited to recapture of Lyman

Sunday 2 October 2022 22:23 , Holly Bancroft

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that the success of the country’s soldiers is not limited to the recapture of Lyman.

“The story of the liberation of Lyman in the Donetsk region has now become the most popular in the media,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly address. “But the successes of our soldiers are not limited to Lyman,” he added without providing any details.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (C), Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (R) and Ukraine's Parliament chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk (L) posing with the document requesting fast-track Nato membership. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky (C), Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (R) and Ukraine's Parliament chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk (L) posing with the document requesting fast-track Nato membership. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)

Zelenksy: Abduction of the director general of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is act of terror

Sunday 2 October 2022 21:48 , Holly Bancroft

Ukraine‘s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday that the abduction of the director-general of Ukraine‘s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is an act of Russian terror.

“This is another instance of clear act of Russian terror, for which the terrorist state must bear an ever-increasing punishment,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.

A Russian patrol detained Ihor Murashov on Friday, the state-owned company in charge of the plant said on Saturday, and the International Atomic Energy Agency said Russia had confirmed the move.

Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

Sunday 2 October 2022 21:15 , Joe Middleton

Russian men desperate to avoid fighting in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s conscription order have told of three-day long border queues and bribing security officials with hundreds of pounds at makeshift “checkpoints”.

Bel Trew reports.

Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

Sanctioned Russian billionaire’s superyacht goes on sale for nearly €30m

Sunday 2 October 2022 20:30 , Joe Middleton

A 168-foot superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian billionaire Igor Kesaev is up for sale for €29.5m, it has been reported.

The sale of the MySky superyacht, which comes complete with a gym and a helicopter landing deck, was disclosed in an advert emailed seen by Reuters from a US-based yacht broker to undisclosed recipients on 14 September.

It comes amid concerns from Western governments and campaigners that billionaires such as Mr Kesaev have been able to work around a patchwork of international sanctions targeting their luxury assets such as yachts.

Sanctioned Russian billionaire’s superyacht goes on sale for nearly €30m

Ukraine presses counteroffensive after Russian setback

Sunday 2 October 2022 19:45 , Joe Middleton

Russia attacked the Ukrainian president’s hometown with suicide drones on Sunday, and Ukraine pushed ahead with its counteroffensive after taking back control of a strategic eastern city.

Russia’s loss of Lyman, which it had been using as a transport and logistics hub, is a new blow to the Kremlin as it seeks to escalate the war by illegally annexing four regions of Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian flag is already in Lyman,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. “Over the past week, there have been more Ukrainian flags in the Donbas. In a week there will be even more.”

Ukraine presses counteroffensive after Russian setback

Denmark, Norway and Germany to deliver 16 wheeled armoured howitzers to Ukraine

Sunday 2 October 2022 19:00 , Joe Middleton

German defense minister Christine Lambrecht on Sunday announced the delivery of 16 wheeled armoured howitzers produced in Slovakia to Ukraine next year.

The Zuzana systems would be produced in Slovakia and financed jointly with Denmark, Norway and Germany, the German minister told public broadcaster ARD after returning from her first trip to Ukraine since the start of the war there.

The Zuzana howitzer is the flagship product of the Slovak defense industry and the only heavy weapon system produced in the country, dpa reported. According to the manufacturer, it can fire all types of NATO 155 millimeter caliber ammunition.

The German ministry put the total value of the procurement at 92 million euros ($90 million), with the three countries financing it equally.

Key Donetsk town liberated and under full Ukrainian control, Zelensky says

Sunday 2 October 2022 18:15 , Joe Middleton

A town in the Donetsk region of Ukraine crucial to Russia’s war plans has been liberated and is now under full Ukrainian control, president Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

Russia on Saturday pulled its troops out of Lyman, which had a pre-war population of around 20,000, because Kyiv’s forces had closed in and threatened to encircle them amid ongoing counter-offensives in the north and east of the country.

Videos posted online at around 11.20am on Sunday - and shared by Mr Zelensky’s office - showed Ukrainian soldiers raising the country’s national blue and yellow flag at the entrance to the town.

Matt Mathers reports.

Key Donetsk town liberated and under full Ukrainian control, Zelensky says

Putin ‘highly unlikely’ to use nuclear weapons but is not rational, says Ben Wallace

Sunday 2 October 2022 17:59 , Holly Bancroft

Vladimir Putin is “highly unlikely” to use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict but he is not acting in a “rational” way, defence secretary Ben Wallace has said.

The Russian president has threatened to use “all the means at our disposal” if his country is threatened, seen as a sign that he could use tactical nuclear weapons in response to attacks on parts of Ukraine he has annexed.

But Mr Wallace played down the prospect, telling a fringe meeting at the Tory party conference that although the use of nuclear weapons was in the Russian military doctrine, it would be unacceptable to Moscow’s allies India and China.

He said Mr Putin “was given a very clear sense what is acceptable and unacceptable” in meetings with the Indian and Chinese leaderships.

But Mr Wallace added that the Russian leader’s actions, from the nerve agent attack in Salisbury to the invasion of Ukraine, were “totally irrational”.

In a sign of the latest concerns about Russia’s actions, Mr Wallace will join a crisis meeting of northern European nations on Monday to discuss the security of pipelines and undersea cables.

Prime Minister Liz Truss has said a series of explosions which caused major damage to Russia’s undersea Nord Stream gas pipelines were “clearly an act of sabotage”.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Mr Wallace said the UK and the Nordic nations were “deeply vulnerable” to acts of sabotage against cables and pipelines.

“I’ll be convening, with the Dutch, a virtual joint expeditionary force meeting on Monday,” he said.

“So I have to break my timetable tomorrow to meet 10 of the Nordic states about what we’re going to do about it because the Nordic states and ourselves are deeply vulnerable to people doing things on our cables and our pipelines.

“So suddenly, that becomes a big issue we have to get to the bottom of, we have to think about what assets we can move to give people reassurance or, indeed, investigate what’s going on.”

Ukrainian soldiers wave flag at entrance of Russian-controlled Donetsk town

Sunday 2 October 2022 17:30 , Joe Middleton

CPAC deletes tweet criticising support for Ukraine against Russian invasion

Sunday 2 October 2022 16:45 , Joe Middleton

The Conservative Political Action Conference’s Twitter account deleted a tweet criticising Congress for passing aid to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion on Friday.

On Friday evening, the account for the popular conservative gathering tweeted about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of certain territories in Ukraine and Congress’s recent passage of additional aid to Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin announces the annexation of 4 Ukrainian-occupied territories,” the tweet said. “Biden and the Dems continue to send Ukraine billions of taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, we are under attack at our southern border. When will Democrats put #AmericaFirst and end gift-giving to Ukraine?”

Eric Garcia reports.

CPAC deletes tweet criticising support for Ukraine against Russian invasion

Ukrainians are making progress and able to push back against Russian forces, says Nato chief

Sunday 2 October 2022 16:00 , Joe Middleton

Ukraine‘s capture of a city within territory of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s declared annexation demonstrates that Ukrainians are making progress and able to push back against Russian forces, Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said today

Mr Stoltenberg said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” the best way to counter Russia’s proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine is to continue supporting the government in Kyiv.

‘Highly unlikely’ Putin would use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, says Wallace

Sunday 2 October 2022 15:06 , Joe Middleton

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said he thought it “highly unlikely” that Vladimir Putin would use nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict.

He told a Tory conference fringe event that while the use of tactical nuclear weapons was in the Russian military doctrine “we think it is highly unlikely he will do it”.

Key Donetsk town liberated and under full Ukrainian control, Zelensky says

Sunday 2 October 2022 14:31 , Joe Middleton

A town in the Donetsk region of Ukraine crucial to Russia’s war plans has been liberated and is now under full Ukrainian control, president Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

Russia on Saturday pulled its troops out of Lyman, which had a pre-war population of around 20,000, because Kyiv’s forces had closed in and threatened to encircle them amid ongoing counter-offensives in the north and east of the country.

Videos posted online at around 11.20am on Sunday - and shared by Mr Zelensky’s office - showed Ukrainian soldiers raising the country’s national blue and yellow flag at the entrance to the town.

Matt Mathers reports.

Key Donetsk town liberated and under full Ukrainian control, Zelensky says

Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

Sunday 2 October 2022 13:57 , Joe Middleton

Russian men desperate to avoid fighting in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s conscription order have told of three-day long border queues and bribing security officials with hundreds of pounds at makeshift “checkpoints” to flee the country.

Bel Trew reports.

Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

Allies aim for risky Russian oil price cap as winter nears

Sunday 2 October 2022 13:25 , Joe Middleton

U.S. officials celebrated in early September when top allies agreed to back an audacious, never-before-tried plan to clamp down on Vladimir Putin’s access to cash as he wages war on Ukraine.

The idea sounded simple enough: The countries would pay only cut-rate prices for Russian oil. That would deprive Putin of money to keep prosecuting his war in Ukraine, but also ensure that oil continued to flow out of Russia and helped to keep global prices low.

A month later, the Group of Seven, representing some of the world’s leading economies, is still figuring out how to execute the plan — a far more complex task than it might seem at first blush — and the Dec. 5 deadline to marshal participants is fast approaching.

Allies aim for risky Russian oil price cap as winter nears

Mark Hamill says Zelensky called Russia the ‘evil empire’ in Star Wars reference

Sunday 2 October 2022 13:00 , Joe Middleton

Mark Hamill has said Volodymyr Zelensky compared Russia to the “evil empire” in Star Wars.

The sci-fi star spoke with the Ukrainian president in September.

Hamill, 71, was asked about their meeting during an appearance on BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg.

Mark Hamill says Zelensky called Russia the ‘evil empire’ in Star Wars reference

Pope Francis urges Vladimir Putin to ‘stop this spiral of violence and death' in Ukraine

Sunday 2 October 2022 12:20 , Joe Middleton

Pope Francis has urged Vladimir Putin to “stop this spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine, and denounced the “absurd” risk to humanity of catastrophic nuclear war as tensions escalate.

The pontiff made his strongest plea yet on the seven-month war as he addressed the public in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. It was the first time in public that he cited Mr Putin’s leadership.

He also called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “be open” to serious peace proposals, reports Associated Press.

And he exhorted the international community to “use all diplomatic instruments” to end this “huge tragedy” and “horror” of war.

“This terrible, inconceivable wound of humanity, instead of shrinking, continues to bleed even more, threatening to spread,” said Francis.

“That humanity again finds itself before the threat of atomic war is absurd.

“What more has to happen, how much more blood has to flow?” before the war ends, he asked.

The pope implored “the Russian Federation president, also for the love of his people, to stop this spiral of violence and death”.

He then urged Mr Zelensky to “be open to serious proposals to peace”, and called upon “all protagonists of international life and political leaders with insistence to do all they can to put an end to the war”, avoiding “dangerous escalation”.

Francis called for the “recourse to all diplomatic instruments to end this huge tragedy”. In his address he called war “a horror” and “madness”.

Lyman is ‘fully cleared’ of Russian forces, says Zelensky

Sunday 2 October 2022 11:54 , Joe Middleton

Ukraine said today that it was in full control of the eastern logistics hub of Lyman, Kyiv’s most significant battlefield gain in weeks.

“As of 1230 (0930 GMT), Lyman is fully cleared,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a short video clip on his Telegram channel.

There was no comment from the Russian armed forces on Sunday on the status of the city.

Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

Sunday 2 October 2022 11:30 , Joe Middleton

Russian men desperate to avoid fighting in Ukraine following Vladimir Putin’s conscription order have told of three-day long border queues and bribing security officials hundreds of pounds at makeshift “checkpoints” to flee the country.

Bel Trew reports.

Russians fleeing the draft tell of three-day queues and bribes to cross border

Ukraine presses counteroffensive after Russian setback

Sunday 2 October 2022 11:00 , Joe Middleton

Russia attacked the Ukrainian president’s hometown with suicide drones on Sunday, and Ukraine pushed ahead with its counteroffensive after taking back control of a strategic eastern city.

Russia’s loss of Lyman, which it had been using as a transport and logistics hub, is a new blow to the Kremlin as it seeks to escalate the war by illegally annexing four regions of Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian flag is already in Lyman,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address. “Over the past week, there have been more Ukrainian flags in the Donbas. In a week there will be even more.”

Ukraine presses counteroffensive after Russian setback

UN nuclear watchdog seeks release of Ukrainian nuclear plant chief

Sunday 2 October 2022 10:45 , Joe Middleton

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog called for the release of the director-general of Ukraine‘s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, saying his detention posed a threat to safety and security, reports Reuters.

A Russian patrol detained Ihor Murashov on Friday, the state-owned company in charge of the plant said on Saturday, and the International Atomic Energy Agency said Russia had confirmed the move.

“IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi expressed the hope that Mr Murashov will return to his family safely and promptly and will be able to resume his important functions at the plant,” the agency tweeted late on Saturday.

The IAEA has been in contact with relevant authorities seeking clarifications on his temporary detention, which it said had a “very significant impact” on him and nuclear safety and security standards.

Grossi is expected to hold talks in Moscow and Kyiv next week on the creation of a protection zone around the Zaporizhzhia plant, the watchdog said on Saturday.

Ukrainian soldiers wave flag at entrance of Russian-controlled Donetsk town

Sunday 2 October 2022 10:30 , Joe Middleton

Russia restricts access to music-streaming app SoundCloud

Sunday 2 October 2022 10:15 , Joe Middleton

Russia has restricted access to music-streaming app SoundCloud citing “false information” about what Moscow calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, quoting communications watchdog Roskomnadzor (RKN).

Russia has battled big tech companies to control the flow of information after it sent troops to Ukraine , slowing Twitter’s service and banning Meta’s Facebook and Instagram.

“Roskomnadzor restricted access to the SoundCloud service in connection with placement of materials containing false information regarding the nature of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine,” Interfax said citing RKN.

It said access to the service was blocked at the behest of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, adding that the information in question related to the special operation’s form and methods of warfare including “attacks on civilians, strikes on civilian infrastructure, about numerous civilian casualties at the hands of Russian soldiers”.

‘With God’s help, we will go back’: Ukrainians flee annexed regions as Putin declares them Russian

Sunday 2 October 2022 10:00 , Joe Middleton

“Do you know what it’s like to lose your home, your job, and be told you have lost your country? To have to uproot yourself and try to escape, not knowing whether you are going to make it?” asks Darya.

“And you have to be really unlucky to have this happen to you twice in one lifetime”, she adds with a bitter laugh. “But I am sure it is not going to happen a third time. I am also sure that, with God’s help, we will go back to both our homes.”

Darya and her husband Yuri and two children are the latest in the exodus triggered by the war in Ukraine. They are among the people who have fled from the Russian-occupied south of the country in desperation as referendums ordered by Moscow were followed by annexation.

Kim Sengupta reports.

Ukrainians flee annexed regions as Putin declares them Russian

Russian defeat in Lyman makes war ‘more difficult’ for Putin, says US defense secretary

Sunday 2 October 2022 09:28 , Joe Middleton

US defense secretary Lloyd Austin said Lyman’s capture would create new problems for Russia’s military. “We’re very encouraged by what we’re seeing right now,” Austin told a news conference on Saturday.

Austin noted that Lyman was positioned across supply lines that Russia has used to push its troops and materiel down to the south and to the west, as the Kremlin presses its more than seven-month-long invasion of Ukraine.

“Without those routes, it will be more difficult. So it presents a sort of a dilemma for the Russians going forward.”

Austin did not say whether he thought Ukraine’s capture of Lyman might prompt Russian escalation, although U.S. officials have widely denounced Russia’s nuclear rhetoric in recent days and President Joe Biden has publicly urged Putin not to use nuclear weapons.

Ukraine’s jets carry out 29 strikes in the past 24 hours

Sunday 2 October 2022 09:24 , Joe Middleton

Ukraine’s armed forces said in a statement on Sunday morning that its jets had carried out 29 strikes in the past 24 hours, destroying weapons and anti-aircraft missile systems.

While its ground troops had hit command posts, warehouses containing ammunition and anti-aircraft missile complexes.