Russo Ukrainian War. Day 221: The Ukrainian army liberates Lyman

 

Daily review

Article by: Zarina Zabrisky

The Ukrainian army liberates Lyman. Ukrainian troops are continuing to conduct counteroffensive operations in Kherson Oblast and setting conditions for future advances. Russian forces conducted ground attacks in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas of Donetsk Oblast. The Russian army launched 4 missiles, 16 air strikes, carried out more than 75 rounds of anti-aircraft fire at military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine and used the Iranian-made “Shahid-136” unmanned aerial vehicle for attacks on infrastructure facilities. More than 30 settlements were damaged by the Russian strikes. Russia is likely setting conditions to assume legal responsibility for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). A gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria started operating. Germany forms an international group to investigate explosions on the branches of the Nord Stream. The US law on lend-lease for Ukraine comes into force. Ukraine will be supplied with tanks and armored vehicles, artillery systems, air defense systems, anti-ship missiles, and combat aircraft. France is preparing to transfer a new batch of Caesar self-propelled guns to Ukraine. The next delivery can include 6-12 howitzers. German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht arrived in Odesa on an unannounced visit.

Daily overview — Summary report, October 2

The General Staff’s operational update regarding the Russian invasion as of 06.00 am, October 2, 2022 is in the dropdown menu below

Situation in Ukraine. October 1, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Situation in Ukraine. October 1, 2022. Source: ISW.

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The two hundred-twenty-first (221) day of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people to a russian military large-scale invasion continues.
Donetsk Battle Map. October 1, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Donetsk Battle Map. October 1, 2022. Source: ISW.

The enemy continues to focus its efforts on attempts to occupy the Donetsk oblast, hold the captured territories, as well as disrupt the active actions of the Defence Forces in certain directions. The enemy is shelling the positions of our troops along the contact line, conducting aerial reconnaissance. Attacks civilian infrastructure and civilian homes, violating international humanitarian law, laws and customs of war. There remains the threat of the enemy launching air and missile strikes on the entire territory of Ukraine.
Over the past day, the enemy launched 4 missiles and 16 air strikes, carried out more than 75 rounds of anti-aircraft fire at military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine. In addition, the enemy uses the Iranian-made “Shahed-136” unmanned aerial vehicle for attacks on infrastructure facilities.
Last day, more than 30 settlements were damaged by enemy strikes. Among them are Bilohorivka, Bakhmut, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Vodyane, Trudove, Bohoyavlenka, Novoukrainka, Orihiv, Zaliznychne, Illinka, Nikopol, Blahodativka, Mykolayiv, Ochakiv and Odesa.
The situation in the Volyn and Polissya directions has not changed significantly.
In other directions, the enemy continued shelling from tanks, mortars, barrel and rocket artillery:
in the Siversky direction – in the areas of the settlements of Seredyna Buda, Fotovyzh and Budka of the Sumy oblast;
Kharkiv Battle Map. October 01, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kharkiv Battle Map. October 01, 2022. Source: ISW.

in the Slobozhanskyi direction – in the areas of Vovchansk and Gatyshche settlements of the Kharkiv oblast;
in the Kramatorsk direction – Hryhorivka, Bilohorivka, Verkhnokamianske and Rozdolivka;
in the Bakhmut direction – Soledar, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Odradivka, Opytne, Yakovlivka, Yuryivka and Novoselivka;
in the Avdiyivka direction – Avdiyivka, Krasnohorivka, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Maryinka, Novomykhailivka and Vodyane.
In the Novopavlivskyi and Zaporizhzhia directions, the enemy inflicted fire damage in the areas of Novoukrayinka, Paraskoviyivka, Prechystivka, Pavlivka, Neskuchne, Shakhtarske, Velyka Novosilka, Novoandriyivka, Zaliznychne, Hulyaipole, Hulyaipilske, Poltavka, Novopil and Vremivka.
Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. October 1, 2022. Source: ISW. ~

Kherson-Mykolaiv Battle Map. October 1, 2022. Source: ISW.

Areas of twenty-eight settlements near the contact line were shelled by tanks, mortars and barrel artillery in the South Buh direction.
The enemy continues to suffer losses on Ukrainian soil as a result of the effective actions of the Defence Forces. It has been confirmed that the ammunition warehouse was destroyed after a fire attack on September 30 in the area of ​​Chernihivka settlement of Zaporizhzhia oblast and about 50 people were injured.
Measures of partial mobilization, announced by the military-political leadership of the russian federation, are ongoing. Since September 30 of this year, enemy military units based on the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea have been put on “full” combat readiness, measures are being taken to disperse units. It is known about the formation of a motorized rifle division on the territory of the peninsula at the expense of the demobilized male population of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygea.
The arrival of about two thousand demobilized persons to the point of permanent deployment of the 810th separate brigade of marines based in the city of Sevastopol was noted.
In the city of Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Kray, about 5,000 people arrived for mobilization to the 205th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the 49th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District. It is known that about 3,000 are stationed at the point of permanent deployment of the unit, the rest – in a tent town at the Nikolo-Oleksandrivsky training ground. Combat training classes began with the specified personnel.
During the day, units of the Defence Forces repelled enemy attacks in the areas of Kozacha Lopan, Vyimka, Bakhmutske, Bakhmut, Vesela Dolyna and Pervomaiske settlements.
In support of the actions of the land groups, the Air Force of the Defence Forces carried out 29 strikes during the past 24 hours. The defeat of the enemy’s stronghold, 22 areas of concentration of weapons and military equipment, as well as 6 anti-aircraft missile systems of the enemy was confirmed. In addition, our air defense units shot down 2 unmanned aerial vehicles.
Missile troops and artillery struck 8 command posts, 10 areas of concentration of manpower, weapons and military equipment during the day. In addition, 3 warehouses with ammunition and 2 S-300 anti-aircraft missile complexes fell into the affected area.

Military Updates

Russian Shelling. Icelandic Data Analyst. ~

Russian Shelling. Icelandic Data Analyst.

Regional Updates

In the Donetsk Oblast:

In the Kharkiv Oblast, the Russian troops fired at a civilian convoy, killing 24, including a pregnant woman and 13 children, in the Kupyansky district.

In the Sumy Oblast:

In the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the Russian troops hit Kryvyi Rih with a kamikaze drone. An infrastructure facility damaged.

In the Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the death toll as a result of the civilian cars’ convoy shelling  increased to 31.

In the Kherson Oblast, the Russian military kidnaps people and cars, evicts residents from their apartments, and appropriate vehicles and use civilians as human shields in the occupied city of Kherson. The military also set their positions in a hospital, with patients still on the premises.

In the Odesa Oblast:

According to British Defence Intelligence, (last 48 hours): 

  • On 1 October 2022 the Russian force in the Donetsk Oblast town of Lyman withdrew in the face of Ukrainian advances. Lyman was likely being defended by undermanned elements of Russia’s Western and Central Military Districts as well as contingents of voluntarily mobilised reservists. The force probably experienced heavy casualties as it withdrew along the only road out of the town still in Russian hands.

 

  • Operationally, Lyman is important because it commands a key road crossing over the Siversky Donets River, behind which Russia has been attempting to consolidate its defences. Russia’s withdrawal from Lyman also represents a significant political setback given that it is located within Donetsk Oblast, a region Russia supposedly aimed to ‘liberate’ and has attempted to illegally annex.
  • The withdrawal has led to a further wave of public criticism of Russia’s military leadership by senior officials. Further losses of territory in illegally occupied territories will almost certainly lead to an intensification of this public criticism and increase the pressure on senior commanders.

Losses of the Russian army 

As of  2 October, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the war to the present day:

Humanitarian 

https://twitter.com/EuromaidanPress/status/1576160494632652800

Environmental 

A gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria started operating. 182 km long pipe will supply natural gas from Azerbaijan. The initial capacity is 3 billion cubic meters per year, with plans to increase it to 5 billion cubic meters. The gas pipeline can supply non-Russian gas to Serbia, North Macedonia, Romania and further to Moldova and Ukraine. “This pipeline is a game changer. It means freedom from dependence on Russian gas,” said EC President Ursula von der Leyen at the opening ceremony in Sofia.
The Russian troops hit critical infrastructure facilities in southern Ukraine. Two Ukrenergo substations were completely disabled by rocket strikes for two days. The main equipment of substations and other high-voltage network facilities damaged. No casualties reported.

Legal 

Germany forms an international group to investigate explosions on the branches of the Nord Stream. It will include specialists from Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

Support 

The US law on lend-lease for Ukraine comes into force. Ukraine will be supplied with tanks and armored vehicles, artillery systems, air defense systems, anti-ship missiles, and combat aircraft.
France is preparing to transfer a new batch of Caesar self-propelled guns to Ukraine. The next delivery can include 6-12 howitzers.
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht arrived in Odesa on an unannounced visit. This is the first visit of an official to Ukraine since the start of the war. Germany will supply IRIS-T air defense systems in the nearest future.

New Developments 

The head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Kuleba discussed Ukraine’s application for NATO membership and the next steps with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.

Assessment 

  1. On the war. 

The Institute for the Study of War has made the following assessment as of 2 October, 2022:

Ukrainian forces inflicted another significant operational defeat on Russia and liberated Lyman, Donetsk Oblast, on October 1. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced the withdrawal of Russian troops from Lyman to “more advantageous positions” to avoid the “threat of encirclement” in the settlement.[1] Social media footage and Ukrainian military officials confirmed that Ukrainian forces have entered Lyman and are likely clearing the settlement as of October 1.

The Russian information space – composed of Kremlin propagandists, pundits, and milbloggers – registered the defeat as the result of the Russian military command’s failure to send reinforcements in a timely manner, while openly criticizing repeated bureaucratic failures during the mobilization.[2] Russian commentators overwhelmingly expressed their hopes that partial mobilization would generate enough force to resume offensive operations and regain the initiative. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, apparently devastated by the defeat in Lyman, called on Russia to continue to fight to ”liberate” the four annexed territories with all available means including low-yield nuclear weapons.[3]

Kadyrov’s rant is similar to the disorganized and often hyperbolic milblogger rants that call for the Kremlin to continue the war in Ukraine, and his call for the use of nuclear weapons was not representative of the discourse within the Russian information space. Russian federal TV channels and ultra-hawkish milbloggers have often discussed Russian nuclear capabilities as part of their efforts to stoke patriotic sentiments among Russian domestic audiences, and Kadyrov’s statement was not especially noteworthy in this context.

Kadyrov’s call for using tactical nuclear weapons is likely inconsistent with his demands to continue the “special military operation” to bring more Ukrainian territory under Russian control. The Russian military in its current state is almost certainly unable to operate on a nuclear battlefield even though it has the necessary equipment and has historically trained its units to do so. The chaotic agglomeration of exhausted contract soldiers, hastily mobilized reservists, conscripts, and mercenaries that currently comprise the Russian ground forces could not function in a nuclear environment.  Any areas affected by Russian tactical nuclear weapons would thus be impassable for the Russians, likely precluding Russian advances. This consideration is another factor that reduces the likelihood of Russian tactical nuclear weapons use.

Kadyrov blamed the commander of the Central Military District (CMD), Colonel General Alexander Lapin, for failures around Lyman. Kadyrov’s attacks gained significant traction within the Russian information space and indicate that the rift between Russian traditional and non-traditional forces is likely growing. Kadyrov stated that Lapin, responsible for the ”central” group of forces in Ukraine, failed to properly equip units operating in the Lyman area and moved his headquarters far from the frontlines. Kadyrov also accused the Russian General Staff and specifically Chief of the General Staff, Army General Valery Gerasimov, of covering up Lapin’s failures. Wagner Group financier Evgeniy Prigozhin publicly agreed with Kadyrov’s criticism of Lapin, saying that the higher military command should fight “barefoot with machine guns on the frontlines.”[4] Milbloggers and state television hosts praised Kadyrov‘s and Prigozhin’s critiques of the Russian military command, adding that the command is corrupt and disinterested in Russian strategic goals.[5] Kadyrov, Lapin, and Prigozhin are all operating in the Donbas sector, and such comments indicate the strains within the Russian forces operating in Ukraine and their leadership. The Kremlin may be amplifying such criticism to set informational conditions for personnel changes within the higher military command in weeks to come.

The defeat around Lyman also indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin – who has reportedly been micromanaging Russian commanders on the ground – is deprioritizing defending Luhansk Oblast in favor of holding occupied territories in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian sources consistently indicate that Russian forces continued to reinforce Russian positions in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, despite the recent collapse of the Kharkiv-Izium front and even as the Russian positions around Lyman collapsed.[6] The decision not to reinforce vulnerable Kupyansk or Lyman front lines was almost certainly Putin’s, not that of the military command, and suggests that Putin cares far more about holding the strategic terrain of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts than he does about Luhansk Oblast.

Russia is likely setting conditions to assume legal responsibility for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). Russian authorities detained the general director of the ZNPP, Ihor Murashov, on September 30.[7] A Russian miblogger claimed that Murashov’s detention will have no tangible impact on the operation of the plant since the power units are already shut down and stated that authorities are currently undertaking ”routine“ legal work to transfer control of the plant to Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom and create a new legal entity for the ZNPP.[8] Murashov’s detention and the ”legal” process of transferring control of the ZNPP to Rosatom are noteworthy indications that Russian authorities will likely seek to exploit their control of the ZNPP to pressure the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to legitimize the illegal Russian annexations of occupied Ukrainian territory by coercing it to acknowledge Russia‘s legal control over the ZNPP.

Russian forces conducted a failed ground attack on Kozacha Lopan in northern Kharkiv Oblast on October 1. The Ukrainian General Staff reported that Ukrainian forces repelled a Russian ground attack on Kozacha Lopan, 5km from the Kharkiv Oblast-Russia border.[9] Such attacks indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely retains the aim of regaining control of territory beyond the oblasts he has illegally annexed and is willing to allocate Russian military assets to such offensive actions rather than dedicating them to defending against the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Donbas.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian forces liberated Lyman and are likely clearing the settlement as of October 1.
  • Russia is likely setting conditions to assume legal responsibility for the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).
  • Ukrainian troops are continuing to conduct counteroffensive operations in Kherson Oblast and setting conditions for future advances.
  • Russian forces conducted ground attacks in the Bakhmut and Avdiivka areas of Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian forces continued routine strikes against Ukrainian rear areas in the south.
  • Russian military leadership is continuing to compromise the future reconstitution of the force by prioritizing the immediate mobilization of as many bodies as possible for ongoing fighting in Ukraine.
  • Russian mobilization authorities continue to carry out discriminatory mobilization practices.

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