Ukraine's counter-offensive against the Russian troops is gaining momentum and they have recaptured more territory. The Ukrainian forces have broken through Russia's defenses in the south of the country while expanding their rapid offensive in the east.
Ukrainian forces on Monday (October 3) achieved their biggest breakthrough in the Kherson region since the war began, and they also regained control of several villages along the Dnipro River.
Russia acknowledges Ukrainian gains: The Russian military on Monday acknowledged that Kyiv's forces have broken through Moscow's defenses in the Kherson region.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that "With numerically superior tank units in the direction of Zolota Balka and Oleksandrivka, the enemy managed to forge deep into our defenses," reported AP.
Attack on Russian supply line: The southern advance by the Ukrainian forces is targetting supply lines for as many as 25,000 Russian troops on the Dnipro river's west bank. Ukraine has already destroyed the river's main bridges, forcing Russian forces to use makeshift crossings and a substantial advance down the river could cut them off entirely, reported AP.
"The fact we have broken through the front means that... the Russian army has already lost the ability to attack, and today or tomorrow it could lose the ability to defend," Oleh Zhdanov, a military analyst based in Kyiv told AP.
Ukraine recaptures Lyman city: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has confirmed that Ukraine has "fully cleared" Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman. Recapturing of Lyman by Ukrainian troops is Russia's largest battlefield loss since Ukraine's lightning counteroffensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in September, The Guardian reported.
NEW: Ukrainian forces have made substantial gains around #Lyman and in northern #Kherson Oblast over the last 24 hours. The Russian units defeated on these fronts were previously considered to be among #Russia’s premier conventional fighting forces.https://t.co/qCfwrJolCF pic.twitter.com/GwXQBzxI0S— ISW (@TheStudyofWar) October 4, 2022
Putin's annexation plans get approval: On Monday, Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament which is firmly under the control of Vladimir Putin's ruling party, passed bills endorsing the annexation of the four partly occupied Ukrainian provinces, reported Reuters. These provinces are Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, and Luhansk.
Ukraine's counter-attack: Ukraine's counter-attack: Ukraine had retaken over 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 square miles) in the east and the south last month and Russian troops were surrendering en masse. As thousands of Russian troops fled their positions, they also abandoned ammunition stockpiles and equipment.
A US think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, had reported that Ukraine has liberated over 60,000 square km of territory since the Russians began retreating from around Kyiv in early April.
The death and destruction so far: The latest UN figures found 6,114 civilian deaths in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country. Ukraine's military chief has said nearly 9,000 soldiers have died in the war and US intelligence estimates that some 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far in Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has also led to one of the worst refugee crises ever. More than 6.7 people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded their country. The UNHCR has registered nearly 11 million border crossings out of Ukraine.