MOSCOW: While Ukraine has claimed full control of the eastern logistics hub of Lyman — Kyiv’s most significant battlefield gain in weeks — providing a potential staging post for further attacks to the east, Russia’s Defence Ministry on Sunday claimed its forces have destroyed seven artillery and missile depots in Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Donetsk regions.

Russia’s defence ministry said the guidance radar for S-300 air defence missile system had also been destroyed near Nova Kaluha in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy claimed that Lyman has been cleared of Russian forces, a day after Moscow announced withdrawal of troops from the area. In a short video clip on his Telegram channel, Zelenskiy said: “Thank you to our troops ... Glory to Ukraine!”

Pope Francis asks Russia to end war, Ukraine to be open about any ‘serious peace plan’

As the battle rages on, Pope Francis, in his address to thousands of people at St Peter’s Square, made an impassioned appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop ‘this spiral of violence and death’ and to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be open to any “serious peace proposal”, saying the crisis there was risking a nuclear escalation with uncontrollable global consequences.

The setback on Kyiv’s front for Putin came a couple of days after he proclaimed the annexation of four regions covering nearly a fifth of Ukraine, an area that includes Lyman.

Russian forces captured Lyman from Ukraine in May and had used it as a logistics and transport hub for its operations in the north of Donetsk.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022

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