Russian Losses Evident in Key City 10/04 06:17
LYMAN, Ukraine (AP) -- The bodies of Russian soldiers were lying in the
streets of a key eastern Ukrainian city on Tuesday, evidence of a hasty retreat
that marked a new military defeat for Moscow as it struggles to hang on to
areas it illegally annexed last week.
Russia's upper house of parliament rubber-stamped the annexation of four
Ukrainian regions on Tuesday, following "referendums" that Ukraine and its
Western allies dismissed as illegal and fraudulent.
The picture on the ground, however, underscored the disarray Russian
President Vladimir Putin faces in his response to Ukrainian advances and
attempts to establish new Russian borders.
Over the weekend, Russian troops pulled back from Lyman, a strategic eastern
city that the Russians had used as a key logistics and transport hub, to avoid
being encircled by Ukrainian forces. The city's liberation gave Ukraine a key
vantage point for pressing its offensive deeper into Russian-held territories.
Two days later, the bodies of Russian soldiers were still on the ground. The
Ukrainian military appeared to have collected the bodies of their comrades
after fierce battles for control of Lyman, but didn't immediately remove those
of the Russians.
"We fight for our land, for our children, so that our people can live
better, but all this comes at a very high price," said a Ukrainian soldier who
goes by the nom de guerre Rud.
Lyman residents emerged from basements where they had hidden during the
battle for control of the city and built bonfires for cooking. The city has had
no water, electricity or gas since May. Residential buildings were burned. A
few residents emerged on bicycles.
A 85-year-old, who identified herself by her name and patronymic, Valentyna
Kuzmichna, recalled a recent explosion nearby.
"I was standing in the hall, about five meters away, when it boomed," she
said. "God forbid, now I can't hear well."
The Russian forces launched more missile strikes at Ukrainian cities on
Tuesday as Ukrainian forces pressed their counteroffensives in the east and the
Several missiles hit Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv, damaging its
infrastructure and causing power cuts. Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said one
person was killed and at least two others, including a 9-year-old girl, were
In the south, four civilians were wounded when Russian missiles struck the
city of Nikopol.
After reclaiming control of Lyman in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian
forces pushed further east and may have gone as far as the border of the
neighboring Luhansk region as they advance toward Kreminna, the
Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said in its latest analysis of
the combat situation.
On Monday, Ukrainian forces also scored significant gains in the south,
raising flags over the villages of Arkhanhelske, Myroliubivka, Khreshchenivka,
Mykhalivka and Novovorontsovka.
Despite the latest military gains, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen
Perebyinis called for the deployment of more weapons to Ukraine following the
partial mobilization announcement by Russia last month.
In a video address to a conference in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on
Russia's war against Ukraine on Tuesday, Perebyinis said the additional weapons
wouldn't lead to an escalation but help to end the war sooner.
"We need additional long-range artillery and ammunition, combat aircrafts,
and armed vehicles to continue the liberation of the occupied territories," the
deputy minister said. "We need anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems
to secure our civilians and critical infrastructure from the terrorist attacks
on the Russian forces."
The Ukrainian successes in the east and the south came even as Russia moved
to absorb four Ukrainian regions amid the fighting there.
The upper house of Russian parliament, the Federation Council, voted Tuesday
to ratify treaties to make the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern
Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia.
The lower house had quickly rubber-stamped the accession pacts after last
week's Kremlin-orchestrated annexation "referendums" that Ukraine and its
Western allies have dismissed as illegal and fraudulent.
Putin is expected to quickly endorse the annexation treaties.
Russia's moves to incorporate the Ukrainian regions have been done so
hastily that even the exact borders of the territories being absorbed were
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Donetsk and Luhansk are
joining Russia with the same administrative borders that existed before a
conflict erupted there in 2014 between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian
forces. He said the borders of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson are still undecided.
But a senior Russian lawmaker offered a different view. Pavel Krasheninnikov
said Zaporizhzhia will be absorbed within its "administrative borders," meaning
Moscow plans to incorporate parts of the region still under Kyiv's control. He
said similar logic will apply to Kherson, but that Russia will include two
districts of the neighboring Mykolaiv region that are now occupied by Russia.