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Russian Losses Evident in Key City     10/04 06:17

   

   LYMAN, Ukraine (AP) -- The bodies of Russian soldiers were lying in the 
streets of a key eastern Ukrainian city on Tuesday, evidence of a hasty retreat 
that marked a new military defeat for Moscow as it struggles to hang on to 
areas it illegally annexed last week.

   Russia's upper house of parliament rubber-stamped the annexation of four 
Ukrainian regions on Tuesday, following "referendums" that Ukraine and its 
Western allies dismissed as illegal and fraudulent.

   The picture on the ground, however, underscored the disarray Russian 
President Vladimir Putin faces in his response to Ukrainian advances and 
attempts to establish new Russian borders.

   Over the weekend, Russian troops pulled back from Lyman, a strategic eastern 
city that the Russians had used as a key logistics and transport hub, to avoid 
being encircled by Ukrainian forces. The city's liberation gave Ukraine a key 
vantage point for pressing its offensive deeper into Russian-held territories.

   Two days later, the bodies of Russian soldiers were still on the ground. The 
Ukrainian military appeared to have collected the bodies of their comrades 
after fierce battles for control of Lyman, but didn't immediately remove those 
of the Russians.

   "We fight for our land, for our children, so that our people can live 
better, but all this comes at a very high price," said a Ukrainian soldier who 
goes by the nom de guerre Rud.

   Lyman residents emerged from basements where they had hidden during the 
battle for control of the city and built bonfires for cooking. The city has had 
no water, electricity or gas since May. Residential buildings were burned. A 
few residents emerged on bicycles.

   A 85-year-old, who identified herself by her name and patronymic, Valentyna 
Kuzmichna, recalled a recent explosion nearby.

   "I was standing in the hall, about five meters away, when it boomed," she 
said. "God forbid, now I can't hear well."

   The Russian forces launched more missile strikes at Ukrainian cities on 
Tuesday as Ukrainian forces pressed their counteroffensives in the east and the 
south.

   Several missiles hit Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv, damaging its 
infrastructure and causing power cuts. Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said one 
person was killed and at least two others, including a 9-year-old girl, were 
wounded.

   In the south, four civilians were wounded when Russian missiles struck the 
city of Nikopol.

   After reclaiming control of Lyman in the Donetsk region, the Ukrainian 
forces pushed further east and may have gone as far as the border of the 
neighboring Luhansk region as they advance toward Kreminna, the 
Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said in its latest analysis of 
the combat situation.

   On Monday, Ukrainian forces also scored significant gains in the south, 
raising flags over the villages of Arkhanhelske, Myroliubivka, Khreshchenivka, 
Mykhalivka and Novovorontsovka.

   Despite the latest military gains, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen 
Perebyinis called for the deployment of more weapons to Ukraine following the 
partial mobilization announcement by Russia last month.

   In a video address to a conference in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on 
Russia's war against Ukraine on Tuesday, Perebyinis said the additional weapons 
wouldn't lead to an escalation but help to end the war sooner.

   "We need additional long-range artillery and ammunition, combat aircrafts, 
and armed vehicles to continue the liberation of the occupied territories," the 
deputy minister said. "We need anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems 
to secure our civilians and critical infrastructure from the terrorist attacks 
on the Russian forces."

   The Ukrainian successes in the east and the south came even as Russia moved 
to absorb four Ukrainian regions amid the fighting there.

   The upper house of Russian parliament, the Federation Council, voted Tuesday 
to ratify treaties to make the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern 
Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions part of Russia.

   The lower house had quickly rubber-stamped the accession pacts after last 
week's Kremlin-orchestrated annexation "referendums" that Ukraine and its 
Western allies have dismissed as illegal and fraudulent.

   Putin is expected to quickly endorse the annexation treaties.

   Russia's moves to incorporate the Ukrainian regions have been done so 
hastily that even the exact borders of the territories being absorbed were 
unclear.

   Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Donetsk and Luhansk are 
joining Russia with the same administrative borders that existed before a 
conflict erupted there in 2014 between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian 
forces. He said the borders of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson are still undecided.

   But a senior Russian lawmaker offered a different view. Pavel Krasheninnikov 
said Zaporizhzhia will be absorbed within its "administrative borders," meaning 
Moscow plans to incorporate parts of the region still under Kyiv's control. He 
said similar logic will apply to Kherson, but that Russia will include two 
districts of the neighboring Mykolaiv region that are now occupied by Russia.

 
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