October 4, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Adrienne Vogt, Sana Noor Haq and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 1:27 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022
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10:35 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

What Ukraine's key Lyman victory could mean for its counteroffensive in the east 

From CNN's Jo Shelley, Mick Krever, Uliana Pavlova and Olga Voitovych

A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier drives through the destroyed village of Shandryholove near Lyman, Ukraine, on October 3.
A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier drives through the destroyed village of Shandryholove near Lyman, Ukraine, on October 3. (Wojciech Grzedzinski/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian Armed Forces captured Lyman over the weekend — one of its biggest achievements for weeks and a setback for Moscow. Lyman is in the Donetsk region, one of the four partially-occupied territories Russia declared on Friday it would annex.  

Russia’s troops had withdrawn from the city in the face of the “threat of encirclement," the Russia's Ministry of Defense in Moscow confirmed on Telegram. By Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared Lyman was “completely liberated” of Russian troops. 

Lyman was a logistical hub for the Russian army, who had used it to funnel troops and supplies to the west and south.

The city’s capture would complicate Russia’s battlefield operation, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters on Saturday.

“Lyman sits astride the supply lines of the Russians. And they've used those routes to push men and material down to the south and to the west. And without those routes it will be more difficult," he said.

Lyman could now become a staging post for the Ukrainian troops to push further east.

Since retaking the city, Ukrainian forces have moved into the neighboring Luhansk region, pro-Russian officials and propagandists alleged on Monday. “The Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to cross the administrative border of the LPR and gain a foothold in the direction of the settlement of Lysychansk,” Andrey Marochko, a military leader in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), wrote on Telegram. 

Kyiv’s next target may be the town of Kreminna, about 24 kilometers (15 miles) east of Lyman.

Yuriy Podolyaka, a pro-Russian journalist, military blogger and analyst, wrote on Telegram Monday that he expected “a new offensive” in that direction to “begin any day [now]."

10:27 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

Ukrainians are breaking through Russian defenses in the south, official claims

From CNN's Jo Shelley, Mick Krever, Uliana Pavlova and Olga Voitovych

Ukrainian forces are breaking through Russian defenses in the Kherson region as they plough on with the southern offensive, with more areas liberated “every day,” Yurii Sobolevskyi, the deputy head of the regional council, said on Ukrainian TV early Tuesday.

The Russian defense ministry confirmed Monday that “superior enemy tank units” had struck Russian defenses towards Zolota Balka, a town in Kherson that sits on the western bank of the Dnipro River, but claimed Russia was responding with “massive fire.”

CNN reported Monday that Ukrainian troops had captured Zolota Balka, citing a regional official and a pro-Russian military blogger.

Overnight, Ukrainian forces attempted to go even further, towards the village of Dudchany, some 30 kilometers (more than 18 miles) south of Zolota Balka, separatist leaders claimed on Tuesday.

The Russian-backed head of the Kherson regional administration, Vladimir Saldo, wrote on Telegram, “They managed to break through… Yesterday and this morning there were quite disturbing reports about what is happening there.” But his deputy, Kirill Stremousov, later said the advance “has now practically stopped, and now aviation and artillery are finishing off all those who broke into the sovereign territory of the Russian Federation in a fire bag," according to Russian state news agency TASS, citing a video posted on his Telegram channel. 

Russian forces appear to have withdrawn to fallback positions on that southern front, according to Igor Girkin, a pro-Russian military analyst who served in the government of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic in 2014.

“Avoiding the emerging encirclement, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation withdrew along the entire front of the Inhulets River to the east of the previously taken enemy bridgehead on this river,” Girkin said on Telegram. “Apparently, the goal of the command of our group is to reduce the front line, at least to the state of creating a continuous front line covering Beryslav and the Nova Kakhovka dam.”

The successful push in the south comes as Ukrainians celebrate crucial victories on the frontline in the east after capturing the key Donetsk city of Lyman.

9:28 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

UK sanctions head of Russian-backed authorities in Kherson region

From CNN’s Alex Hardie in London

 

The UK government has added Sergei Vladimirovich Yeliseyev to its list of sanctioned individuals.

The 51-year-old is the deputy prime minister of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, as well as “head of the Russia-backed government in the temporarily controlled territory of Kherson,” according to the entry added to the UK government’s sanctions list on Tuesday.

Yeliseyev is “involved in destabilizing Ukraine or undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence of Ukraine,” the UK government says.

Ukraine's southern Kherson region, which Russia has claimed to annex, is only partially controlled by Russian forces. The Ukrainian military has been making significant advances in that region in recent days.

9:20 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

Russian President Putin can be "quite dangerous and reckless" if he is cornered, CIA director says

From CNN's Katie Bo Lillis 

CIA Director Bill Burns talks to CBS in an interview aired on October 4.
CIA Director Bill Burns talks to CBS in an interview aired on October 4. (CBS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin can be “quite dangerous and reckless” if he is cornered, CIA Director Bill Burns told CBS in an interview.

Putin has “gotta be concerned, not just about what's happening on the battlefield in Ukraine, [but] what's happening at home and what's happening internationally,” Burns told CBS.

He noted in particular that despite a pledge from China in February of a “friendship without limits,” Beijing has declined to offer military support that Putin has requested and “controlled their enthusiasm for Russia’s conduct of the war.”

Russia’s rising challenges have left Putin with fewer options, making him potentially more dangerous, Burns suggested.

“Putin cornered, Putin who feels his back is against the wall, can be quite dangerous and reckless,” Burns said.

8:07 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

More than 200,000 Russians have entered Kazakhstan since Putin's military escalation

From CNN’s Eve Brennan  

People walk next to their cars while queuing to cross the border into Kazakhstan at the Mariinsky border crossing, Russia, on September 27
People walk next to their cars while queuing to cross the border into Kazakhstan at the Mariinsky border crossing, Russia, on September 27 (AP)

More than 200,000 Russian citizens have arrived in Kazakhstan since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his partial mobilization order, according to Kazakh Interior Minister Marat Akhmetzhanov.  

Out of the 200,000 arrivals, more than 147,000 have already left since Sept. 21, Akhmetzhanov told Kazakh state news agency Kazinform.  

On Monday, Akhmetzhanov said over 7,000 arrived and 11,000 left, according to Kazinform.  

He also said that 68 Russians had applied for Kazakh citizenship. 

Russian and Kazakhstan are neighbors that share a 7000 kilometer-long (4,350 miles) border. 

8:37 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

Residents of annexed Ukrainian territories have 1 month to change citizenship, Russian minister says

From CNN's Anna Chernova and Radina Gigova

A man casts his ballot for a referendum at a polling station in Mariupol on September 27. The placard reads "Referendum. We are returning home. Join! Vote!".
A man casts his ballot for a referendum at a polling station in Mariupol on September 27. The placard reads "Referendum. We are returning home. Join! Vote!". (AFP/Getty Images)

Residents of the Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russia have one month to change their citizenship, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov told state news agency RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

"The same as it was with Crimea. Within a month they must decide, make a choice," Ivanov said, adding that in the new territories, the issuance of documents will be accelerated.

According to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to sign into law on Tuesday the documents on the illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions — the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

The signing of the laws by Putin would complete the last step of the annexation process, based on the Russian legal system. The annexation is illegal under international law and Western governments have vowed to not recognize the regions as Russian territory.

8:01 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

It's 3 p.m. in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

Ukrainian forces have propelled through occupied territory in the country's eastern and southern regions, putting pressure on Russian forces in Kherson and Luhansk.

Meanwhile, Russia's parliament is formalizing the illegal annexation of four regions in Ukraine, which the Kremlin said President Vladimir Putin is likely to sign into law on Tuesday.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Kyiv offensive rolls on: Ukrainian forces have pushed toward the occupied city of Kherson and captured the town of Zolota Balka on the western bank of the Dnipro River, according to a regional official and pro-Russian military blogger. Further east, Ukrainian forces have continued their counteroffensive and pushed into the Luhansk region, pro-Russian officials and propagandists said on Monday.
  • Putin due to sign annexation laws: According to the Kremlin, Putin will on Tuesday "most likely" sign the laws on the illegal annexation of four regions in Ukraine. It comes after both branches of the Russian legislature approved the decision to annex four Ukrainian territories in violation of international law.
  • Russian parliament backs illegal annexation: On Tuesday, the Federation Council unanimously sanctioned the illegal annexation of the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, and the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. The lower house, the State Duma, also voted unanimously to authorize the illegal annexation on Monday, Russia's state-run TASS news agency reported.
  • EU summons Russian ambassadors: The European Union has summoned in a "coordinated manner” the Russian ambassadors in EU member states following Putin's decision last week to annex Ukrainian regions, an EU spokesperson told CNN on Monday. Peter Stano said the move aims to "convey strong condemnation of these actions."
  • More than 200,000 join Russian military: More than 200,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as part of the "partial mobilization" of citizens for Moscow's war in Ukraine, according Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. He said the training of the new units will be conducted on special training grounds and training centers, Russian state outlet RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.
  • Ukraine makes bid for US-supplied weaponry: In an effort to overcome Biden administration resistance to providing Ukraine with a new set of powerful, long-range rocket systems, Kyiv is now offering the US full and ongoing visibility into their list of intended Russian targets, multiple officials familiar with the discussions told CNN.
8:18 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

Zelensky signs decree declaring negotiations with Putin an "impossibility"

From Olga Voitovych in Kyiv and CNN's Anna Chernova

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky address the nation on October 3.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky address the nation on October 3. (President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree formally ruling out the possibility of negotiations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The decree confirms "the impossibility of holding negotiations with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin," according the the Ukrainian Presidency’s website.

It is dated last Friday, the day that Putin announced he would illegally annex the four partially-occupied Ukrainian territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

The move came in response to Putin’s attempt at annexation, the post said.

"It takes two parties to negotiate," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday in response to Kyiv's decree.

He claimed that Russia had wanted to resolve matters "by peaceful diplomatic means" since before Moscow's attempt at a full-scale invasion in February.

"Now we will either wait for a change in the position of the current president, or we will wait for the future president of Ukraine, who will change his position in the interests of the Ukrainian people," Peskov added.

It comes as Russia's parliament formalizes the illegal annexation, in violation of international law. The move follows so-called referendums in the four Ukrainian regions held by Russian-backed leaders, which are illegal under international law and have been denounced by Ukraine and Western leaders as "sham."

7:10 a.m. ET, October 4, 2022

More than 200,000 joined Russian military as part of partial mobilization, says defense minister

From CNN's Radina Gigova

Russian reservists are registered at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia, on September 28.
Russian reservists are registered at a gathering point in the course of partial mobilization of troops in the town of Volzhsky in the Volgograd region, Russia, on September 28. (Reuters)

More than 200,000 people have joined the Russian Armed Forces as part of the "partial mobilization" of citizens for Moscow's war in Ukraine, according Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Shoigu said the training of the new units will be conducted on special training grounds and training centers, Russian state outlet RIA Novosti reported Tuesday. Shoigu hasn't provided additional details about the newly mobilized personnel.

Some context: In September, Shoigu said the country would summon 300,000 reservists, after President Vladimir Putin announced increased military conscription.

The move sparked heated protests and an exodus of military age men amid draft fears. Russia's parliament also made amendments to the law on military service to toughen the punishment for violation of military service duties.