The war appears to be entering a new phase after Ukraine dealt a big blow to Russia's grip on parts of the east with a fast-moving offensive that saw Ukrainian troops enter the strategic city of Izium after five months of occupation.
"Russians escaped and left weapons and ammo behind. City center is free," a spokesperson for the Bohun Brigade of the Land Forces of Ukraine said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
Here are more of the latest headlines from the Russia-Ukraine war:
- Ukrainian military: Russians flee strategic town in Luhansk: In a statement Sunday, the Ukrainian military's general staff said that Russian forces had abandoned the town of Svatove in Luhansk region, a town that until Saturday was still 40 kilometers (25 miles) beyond the known front line of the Ukrainian advance. Svatove has been an important hub on Russian resupply routes to the front lines further south - along the borders of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. "The occupiers have abandoned Svatove in Luhansk region," the general staff's office said in a Facebook post. "They rushed away in four Kamaz trucks, twenty Tigr AVs [armored vehicles] and stole over 20 cars of local residents." CNN cannot independently verify the Ukrainian account.
- More than 40 settlements in the Kharkiv region liberated, Ukrainian official says: As a Russian retreat in the Kharkiv region continues, a senior Ukrainian official has said that more than 40 settlements have now been liberated. Roman Semenukha, Deputy Head of the Kharkiv region military administration, told Ukrainian television: "We can officially announce the liberation of more than 40 settlements. The situation is changing incredibly quickly and there are many, many more such [de-occupied] settlements." Semenukha said the 40 referred only to those places where the situation was completely under control, and there were more where the Ukrainian flag had been raised.
- Watchdog: Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant's back-up power line is restored: A back-up power line to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has been restored, according to a tweet put out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Sunday morning. The back-up line will provide the plant with the "external electricity it needs for reactor cooling and other safety functions." The last operating reactor at ZNPP, which is Europe's largest nuclear complex of its kind, was shut down earlier on Saturday after the transmission line was restored.
- Ukraine defense chief says 3,000 square km of territory retaken, troops within 50 km of Russian border: Ukraine’s top military commander claimed that more than 3,000 square kilometers of territory has been retaken by the country's military since the beginning of the month. “Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 square kilometers have been returned to the control of Ukraine,” Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Sunday. Ukrainian forces have begun to advance not only to the south and east in the Kharkiv region but also to the north, Zaluzhnyi said, adding “there are 50 kilometers to go to the state border.” CNN cannot independently verify Zaluzhnyi's claims.