Ukraine war: Russian troops pull out of Lyman as Ukraine forces enter — and other key stories

Ukraine war: Russian troops pull out of Lyman as Ukraine forces enter — and other key stories
1. Russian troops withdraw from Lyman as Ukraine forces enter townUkrainian forces entered the eastern Russian stronghold of Lyman on Saturday after encircling thousands of Russian troops, Kyiv has said.
Moscow has confirmed that its forces have left the town it had been using as a front-line supply hub. The state-owned RIA Novosti agency quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying that "due to the threat of encirclement", Russian soldiers had "retreated to more advantageous lines".
The capture of Lyman, a bastion that is critical for Moscow, would be a major setback for Moscow after President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of the Donetsk region — where Lyman is situated — along with three other regions on Friday.
"We're already in Lyman, but there are battles," Serhii Cherevatyi, spokesperson for Ukraine's eastern forces, said.
Two grinning Ukrainian soldiers taped the yellow-and-blue national flag on to the "Lyman" welcome sign at the town's entrance in Donetsk region's north, a video posted by the president's chief of staff showed.
"October 1. We're unfurling our state flag and establishing it on our land. Lyman will be Ukraine," one of the soldiers said, standing on the bonnet of a military vehicle.
Ukraine's defence ministry said on Twitter that its air assault forces were entering Lyman.
Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia's region of Chechnya and a Putin ally, slammed top commanders for their failings on Saturday — and suggested that Moscow should consider using a low-yield nuclear weapon in Ukraine after a major new defeat on the battlefield.

Earlier on Saturday, a Ukrainian military spokesperson said that Ukraine had encircled thousands of Russian troops at Lyman, which Russia has used as a logistics and transport hub for its operations in the north of the Donetsk region.
"Lyman is important because it is the next step towards the liberation of the Ukrainian Donbas. It is an opportunity to go further to Kreminna and Sievierodonetsk, and it is psychologically very important," Cherevatyi said.
Russia's forces at Lyman totalled around 5,000 to 5,500 soldiers, but the number of encircled troops may have fallen because of casualties and some soldiers trying to break out of the encirclement, he added.
A few hours earlier, US military analysts forecast that Ukraine would likely retake the key Russian-occupied town in the country’s east in the next three days.
"Russian forces continued to withdraw from positions around Lyman on September 30 as Ukrainian forces continued to envelop Russian troops in the area," the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, said in its latest assessment of the war.
Ukrainian officials said on Friday that their troops had captured two villages that lie very close to Lyman, in the clearest sign yet the town could fall.
Ukraine also is making “incremental” gains around Kupiansk and the eastern bank of the Oskil River, which became a key front line since the Ukrainian counteroffensive regained control of the Kharkiv region in September.

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