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Latest Developments in Ukraine: Oct. 2

Ukrainian tank T-64 fires in Russian troops' positions direction, in Bakhmut, October 2, 2022.
Ukrainian tank T-64 fires in Russian troops' positions direction, in Bakhmut, October 2, 2022.

For full coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, visit Flashpoint Ukraine.

The latest developments in Russia’s war on Ukraine. All times EDT.

11 p.m.: Russian state TV aired on Sunday footage of Russian troops and Ukrainian separatist forces preparing to hold the defensive line in the area of Lyman as the Ukrainian counter-offensive continues, The Associated Press reported.

"Right now, the personnel is digging in, equipping the firing positions, mining the area — routine work," said one anonymous commanding officer to RU-RTR.

Russia's military didn't comment on Sunday about Lyman after announcing on Saturday that it was withdrawing its forces from there to more favorable positions.

9:51 p.m.:

9:05 p.m.: Dozens of protesters marched on October 1 in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, in support of Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed agreements to formally seize four Ukrainian territories partially occupied by Moscow, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. The protest was organized by a Belgrade-based group called Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Serbs Together Against War.

8:02 p.m.:

7:35 p.m.: After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military mobilization on September 21 to bolster flagging Russian forces invading neighboring Ukraine, protests erupted in towns and cities around the country.

However, the North Caucasus region of Daghestan grabbed the spotlight with some of the fastest, largest, and most insistent protests.

"We will fight until the last breath," said one female protester in the settlement of Babayurt who asked that her name be withheld out of fear for her safety.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story: 'Inevitable' Conflict: In Daghestan, Kremlin's Mobilization Inflames Ethnic Tensions

6:41 p.m.: One day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "partial" mobilization limited to reservists with prior military experience to go fight in the Kremlin's war in Ukraine, Viktor Dyachok, a 59-year-old surgeon, and Artyom Skutin, a 21-year-old university student, each received a draft summons to report for duty.

The notices delivered on September 22 came as a shock to both men. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the story.

6:01 p.m.: U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's chief adviser Ibrahim Kalin in Istanbul on Sunday and discussed "progress on NATO accession for Finland and Sweden," the White House said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The two, whose meeting was unannounced to the media beforehand, also discussed Turkey's condemnation of Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Turkey, a NATO member, has conducted a diplomatic balancing act since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Ankara opposes Western sanctions on Russia and has close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors. It has also criticized Russia's invasion and sent armed drones to Ukraine.

Sweden and Finland applied to join the military alliance in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but NATO ally Turkey expressed concerns about their candidacies.

5:09 p.m.:

4:24 p.m.: Britain will acquire two specialist ships to protect underwater infrastructure such as cables and pipelines, defense minister Ben Wallace said on Sunday, following leaks in the Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia to Europe, Reuters reported.

European countries say the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged by "sabotage" but have stopped short of blaming Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Western countries.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, central England, Wallace spoke about "mysterious damage" inflicted to the pipelines but made clear that he saw the threat to Britain's infrastructure as coming from Russia.

"It should remind us all how fragile our economy and infrastructure is to such to such hybrid attacks ... Our internet and our energy are highly reliant on pipelines and cables. Russia makes no secret of its ability to target such infrastructure," Wallace said. "So, for that reason, I can announce we have recently committed to two specialist ships with the capability to keep our cables and pipelines safe."

Wallace said the first "multirole survey ship for seabed warfare" would be bought this year and would be operational by the end of next year, while the second ship would be built in the United Kingdom.

3:44 p.m.: The Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) reports that five vessels left Ukrainian ports Sunday carrying a total of 116,123 metric tons of grain and other food products under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The vessels that began their outbound voyage on 2 October, are:

1) LILA II (IMO 9498315) from Chornomorsk to Spain, carrying 32,700 metric tons of corn.

2) SANN TRO (IMO 9110315) from Odesa to Spain, carrying 26,500 metric tons of wheat.

3) BC RAEDA (IMO 9487598) from Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to Spain, carrying 24,000 metric tons of wheat.

4) RIZABEY (IMO 9197117) from Odesa to Ravenna, Italy, carrying 22,923 metric tons of wheat.

5) DOGA K (IMO 9100530) from Chornomorsk to Tunisia, carrying 10,000 metric tons of wheat.

Destinations indicated are based on information received at the JCC and may change based on commercial activity. Grains that reach a destination may go through processing and be trans-shipped to other countries.

As of October 2, the total tonnage of grain and other foodstuffs exported from the three Ukrainian ports is 5,760,967 metric tons. A total of 534 voyages (281 inbound and 253 outbound) have been enabled so far.

The JCC monitors closely the passage of commercial vessels through the maritime humanitarian corridor.

3 p.m.: In an interview which aired on CNN Sunday, Former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky told Fareed Zakaria he does not believe Russian President Vladimir Putin's nuclear threat is a bluff.

"Putin is in a difficult situation now," Khodorkovsky said. "If he loses in Ukraine, he is going to lose power and also possibly his life." In this context, Putin's readiness to use any means at his disposal “is not a bluff," he added.

2:15 p.m.: In a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Russia’s recent illegal annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts and said France would help Ukraine restore "full sovereignty and territorial integrity," Kyiv Independent reported. France will also keep working with “European partners on new sanctions" against Russia, the Elysee Palace said.

1:50 p.m.: According to the General Staff, Ukrainian troops repelled Russian attempts to advance near the city of Bakhmut, the villages of Zaitseve, Spirne, and four other settlements in Donetsk Sunday, Kyiv Independent reported.

The Ukrainian air force conducted four strikes, successfully hitting two Russian weapon stockpiles and two anti-aircraft missile systems.

On October 2, Ukraine's military also successfully hit 14 Russian troops positions, five Russian command posts, and three ammunition depots, according to the report.

12:30 p.m.: Russia's parliament will consider on Monday bills and ratification treaties to absorb four Ukrainian regions, RIA Novosti news agency cited the speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, as saying on Sunday.

President Vladimir Putin proclaimed Russia's annexation of a swathe of Ukraine in a pomp-filled Kremlin ceremony on Friday, promising Moscow would triumph in its "special military operation."

The court also said the transition period on integration would last until Jan. 1, 2026.

Russian news agencies reported that Putin appointed senior lawmakers Andrey Klishas and Pavel Krasheninnikov as his representatives at Monday’s deliberations in parliament.

Interfax news agency, citing Krasheninnikov, said people in new territories will acquire Russian citizenship after taking the oath of allegiance, while the ruble will be the legal tender there, though settlements in Ukrainian hryvnias will be possible before December 31, 2022.

11:20 a.m.: NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday NATO has an "open door policy" and that every nation "including...Ukraine" has the rig​ht to choose its own path. But he told NBC’s Chuck Todd that any membership decision would require the consensus of all member nations.

11 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin condemned Russia's "nuclear saber-rattling," and said while he hasn’t seen anything to suggest Vladimir Putin has decided to use nuclear weapons in the ongoing war on Ukraine, the choice is up to the Russian President.

"To be clear, the guy who makes that decision, I mean, it’s one man," Austin said of Russian threats of nuclear weapons in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, which aired Sunday.

"There are no checks on Mr. Putin. Just as he made the irresponsible decision to invade Ukraine, you know, he could make another decision. But I don't see anything right now that would lead me to believe that he has made such a decision."

Austin told Zakaria that he has privately conveyed to his Russian counterpart, Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, not to "go down this path and conduct this type of irresponsible behavior." Austin said he has not talked to Shoigo in "recent days" but said other members of U.S. government leadership have conveyed similar messages to Russia "recently."

10:45 a.m.: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said he believes Ukraine is "making progress" in the Kherson region of the country. In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday, he noted a "kind of change in the battlefield dynamics" as a result of Ukraine’s strategic use of weapons supplied by the U.S. and NATO allies, specifically, their use of the high mobility air rocket systems, or HIMARS.

In doing so, Ukrainians have "changed the dynamics, and it’s created an opportunity for the Ukrainians to maneuver," he added.

When asked why the U.S. has not supplied longer-range weapons that Ukrainians have asked for, Austin said he communicates with his Ukrainian counterpart, Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov, "routinely," and believes the US has been "very effective in providing them those things that are very, very effective on a battlefield."

10:30 a.m.: Ukraine's capture of a city within territory of Russian President Vladimir Putin's declared annexation demonstrates that Ukrainians are making progress and able to push back against Russian forces, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday.

Stoltenberg said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" the best way to counter Russia's proclaimed annexation of parts of Ukraine is to continue supporting the government in Kyiv.

10:15 a.m.: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took to Twitter Sunday, expressing gratitude to the nine Central and Eastern European countries who earlier today issued a joint statement supporting Ukraine’s application for NATO membership.

9:15 a.m.: Nine Central and Eastern European countries have signed a joint statement supporting Ukraine’s membership in NATO. "We reiterate our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," reads the statement, which was posted on the website of Czech Republic President Miloš Zeman Sunday.

It was signed by the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

"We do not recognize and will never recognize Russian attempts to annex any Ukrainian territory," they stated. "We firmly stand behind the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit decision concerning Ukraine’s future membership. We support Ukraine in its defence against Russia's invasion, demand Russia to immediately withdraw from all the occupied territories and encourage all Allies to substantially increase their military aid to Ukraine. All those who commit crimes of aggression must be held accountable and brought to justice."

9 a.m.: German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has announced the delivery of 16 wheeled armored howitzers produced in Slovakia to Ukraine next year. The Zuzana systems would be produced in Slovakia and financed jointly with Denmark, Norway and Germany, the German minister told public broadcaster ARD on Sunday after returning from her first trip to Ukraine since the start of the war there.

The Zuzana howitzer is the flagship product of the Slovak defense industry and the only heavy weapon system produced in the country, dpa reported. The German ministry put the total value of the procurement at 92 million euros ($90 million), with the three countries financing it equally.

8:30 a.m.: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday that it was technically possible to restore the ruptured offshore infrastructure of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, TASS news agency reported.

Four leaks were discovered last week on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea near Denmark and Sweden, with a significant fall in gas pressure leading to the detection of the ruptures.

"There have never been such incidents," Novak said. "Of course, there are technical possibilities to restore the infrastructure, it takes time and appropriate funds. I am sure that appropriate possibilities will be found."

The gas leak at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as it is seen from the Danish Defense's F-16 rejection response off the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, south of Dueodde, Sept. 27, 2022.
The gas leak at the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline as it is seen from the Danish Defense's F-16 rejection response off the Danish Baltic island of Bornholm, south of Dueodde, Sept. 27, 2022.

Denmark's Energy Agency said on Sunday it had been informed by Nord Stream AG that stable pressure had been achieved in Nord Stream 1, once the largest single supply route for Russian gas to Europe, indicating the outflow from the last leaks had halted.

Novak said, according to TASS, that the United States, Ukraine and Poland had opposed the Nord Stream pipelines. He added that those who voiced their opposition had an interest in stopping the pipes operating

A member of the Ukrainian troop brings down a Donetsk Republic flag hoisted on a monument in Lyman, Ukraine in this screen grab obtained from social media video released on Oct. 1, 2022.
A member of the Ukrainian troop brings down a Donetsk Republic flag hoisted on a monument in Lyman, Ukraine in this screen grab obtained from social media video released on Oct. 1, 2022.

7:45 a.m.: Ukraine said on Sunday it was in full control of the eastern logistics hub of Lyman, Kyiv's most significant battlefield gain in weeks, which a senior official said could provide a staging post for further gains to the east.

"As of 1230 (0930 GMT), Lyman is fully cleared," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a short video clip on his Telegram channel.

There was no comment from the Russian armed forces on Sunday on the status of the city. The Russian defense ministry said on Saturday it was pulling troops out of the area "in connection with the creation of a threat of encirclement."

7:30 a.m.: Pope Francis has appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday, imploring him to "stop this spiral of violence and death" in Ukraine. Addressing the public in St. Peter’s Square, Francis also denounced what he called the "absurd" risk of nuclear war.

"That humanity again finds itself before the threat of atomic war is absurd," the pontiff said. "What more has to happen, how much more blood has to flow" before the war ends? asked Francis.

The pontiff also called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to "be open" to serious peace proposals. He also exhorted the international community to "use all diplomatic instruments" to end this "huge tragedy" and "horror" of war.

Throughout the war, Francis has denounced the recourse to arms and urged dialogue. But recently, he stressed Ukraine's right to defend itself from aggression.

5:30 a.m.: Secretary of State Antony Blinken released a statement late Saturday, saying he had spoken by phone with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. They discussed "Ukraine’s continued defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

The statement said the two officials "discussed Moscow's latest illegal and illegitimate efforts to change Ukraine’s borders by force as well as mounting atrocities committed by Russia’s forces against the people of Ukraine, including war crimes and human rights abuses."

Blinken also "updated the Foreign Minister on U.S. security assistance, including the $1.1 billion Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative package announced this week, as well as future deliveries. The Secretary and Foreign Minister also discussed efforts to ensure Ukrainian grain continues to reach those most in need around the globe and ensuring the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities," according to the statement.

Ukrainian troops, the assessment said, are continuing to conduct counteroffensive operations in Kherson Oblast and setting conditions for future advances.

4:29 a.m.: The latest intelligence update from the U.K. defense ministry said, "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."

3:29 a.m.: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday pledged to retake more areas in the country's eastern Donbas region from Russian forces, Agence France-Presse reported.

"Throughout this week, more Ukrainian flags have been raised in the Donbas. There will be even more in a week," he said in his evening address.

He spoke after Kyiv said its forces had begun moving into the key eastern town of Lyman and the defense ministry posted a video of soldiers holding up a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag there.

Russia's defense ministry said it had "withdrawn" troops from the town "to more favorable lines."

2:10 a.m.: Australia on Sunday imposed targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 28 Russian-appointed separatists, ministers and senior officials after President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the annexation of four regions of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

The new sanctions targeted individuals who the Australian government said were flouting international law to legitimize Russia's actions in Ukraine through "sham referenda, disinformation and intimidation."

"These additional sanctions reinforce Australia's strong objection to the actions of President Putin and those carrying out his orders," Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement.

Putin on Friday announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine after holding what Moscow called referendums — votes that were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.

1 a.m.: The center-right New Unity party of Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins was set to win Saturday's national election, an exit poll showed, after a campaign dominated by security concerns following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported.

If confirmed, the result should mean Latvia remains a leading voice alongside its Baltic neighbors Lithuania and Estonia in pushing the European Union for a decisive stance against Russia.

But it could widen a rift between the country's Latvian majority and its Russian-speaking minority over their place in society, amid widespread national anger over Moscow's actions in Ukraine.

12:02 a.m.:

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.