Ukraine presses on with counteroffensive; Russia uses drones

KYIV: Russia hit the Ukrainian president’s hometown and other targets on Sunday with a suicide drone, and Ukraine regained full control of a strategic eastern city in a counterattack that reshaped the war.
Russia’s loss of the eastern Ukrainian city of Lyman, once used as a transport and logistics hub, is a new blow to the Kremlin as it seeks to escalate the war by illegally annexing it. regions of Ukraine and increased threats to use nuclear force.
Russian President Vladimir PutinLand grabs have threatened to push the conflict to a dangerous new level.
It also promotes Ukraine to officially register NATO membership, an effort that won support on Sunday from nine NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe over fears that Russian aggression could eventually target them.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Sunday that his forces were now in control of Lyman: “As of 12:30 p.m. (0930 GMT), Lyman has been completely wiped out. Thank you to our troops, our warriors,” he said in a video address.
The Russian military did not comment on the situation in Lyman on Sunday, after announcing Saturday that it would withdraw its forces there to more favorable positions.
The British military described the recapture of Lyman as a “significant political setback” for Moscow. The capture of the city opens the way for the Ukrainian army to have the ability to push deeper into Russian-occupied territory.
Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine, said that in southern Ukraine, Zelenskyy’s hometown in Krivyi Rih was hit by a suicide drone.
Russia in recent weeks has begun using Iranian-made suicide drones to strike targets in Ukraine.
In southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian air force shot down five Iranian-made drones overnight, while two more managed to break through air defenses.
Local authorities said Sunday a car carrying four men who wanted to forage for mushrooms in a forest in the Chernihiv region of Ukraine encountered a landmine, which exploded the vehicle and killed them all, local authorities said. people inside.
Russian attacks also targeted the city of Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday. The Ukrainian military has carried out airstrikes on several Russian command posts, ammunition depots and two S-300 air defense batteries.
Reports of military activity could not be immediately verified.
Ukrainian forces have retaken much of the territory, especially in the northeast around Kharkiv, in a counter-offensive in recent weeks that has embarrassed the Kremlin and led to rare domestic criticism of the uprising. Putin’s war.
Lyman, which Ukraine recaptured by besieging Russian troops, is in the Donetsk region near the border with Luhansk, two of four regions Russia illegally annexed on Friday after forcing Remainers to vote in elections gun referendum.
In his Saturday nightly address, Zelenskyy said: “In the past week, there have been more Ukrainian flags in the Donbas. In a week there will be more.”
In a daily intelligence briefing, the British Ministry of Defense called Lyman very important because it has “an important route across the River Siversky Donets, behind which Russia is trying to strengthen its defenses. me”.
An Associated Press investigation showing Russia’s retreat from northeastern Ukraine in recent weeks has revealed evidence of widespread, routine torture of both civilians and soldiers, especially in the city. strategic city of Izium, an Associated Press investigation has discovered.
AP journalists found 10 torture sites in town, including a deep pit in a residential area, an underground prison filled with the stench of urine, a medical clinic and a school Kindergarten.
Russian officials divulge limited information about military activity in what the Kremlin still refuses to call war.
They often claim that Russia only targets Ukrainian military forces, foreigners supporting them, or Western-supplied weapons.
Putin sees Ukraine’s interests as an American-orchestrated effort to destroy Russia, and last week he stepped up the threat of nuclear force with some of the toughest, most anti-Western rhetoric to date.
Recent developments have raised concerns about an all-out conflict between Russia and the West.
The leaders of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia issued a joint statement in support of Ukraine’s roadmap to NATO membership and called on all 30 members. of the US-led security bloc increased military aid to Kyiv.
Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Sunday announced that it will deliver 16 wheeled armored artillery vehicles made in Slovakia to Ukraine next year.
Arms will be jointly funded with Denmark, Norway and Germany,
Russia on Sunday took steps to turn its land grab into a legal process to help those persecuted by Ukraine, with the Constitutional Court’s approval and draft laws passed. Kremlin-friendly parliament.
Outside Russia, the merger has been denounced by many as a violation of international law.
Meanwhile, international concerns are growing about the fate of Europe’s largest nuclear plant after Russian forces arrested its director for alleged questioning.
The International Atomic Energy Agency announced on Sunday that its Director-General, Rafael Grossi, will visit Kyiv and Moscow in the coming days to discuss the situation surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Grossi is continuing to promote “a nuclear safety and security zone” around the site.
The Zaporizhzhia factory is one of four areas that Mos cows illegally annexed on Friday, and has been repeatedly caught in the crossfire of war.
Ukrainian technicians continued to operate the power plant after the Russian military seized it, and its last reactor was shut down in September as a precautionary measure.
On Sunday, Pope Francis dismissed Russia’s nuclear threats and called on Putin to end “this cycle of violence and death.”


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