Key developments on Oct. 3
- Ukrainian forces advance in east and south
- Russia hits medical facility in Kharkiv Oblast with a missile
- Russia fires 2 missile strikes, 7 airstrikes across Ukraine
Ukraine pushed ahead with its counteroffensive on Oct. 3, reclaiming control over settlements in the country’s east and south.
Ukrainian forces have reportedly advanced into occupied Luhansk Oblast in the direction of Lysychansk, Russian proxy militant in Luhansk Oblast Andrey Marochko told Russian Interfax news agency. Lysychansk was the last major Ukrainian outpost in the region until it fell to Russia in early July.
On the same day, Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai said that the “liberation of Luhansk Oblast” has begun with Ukraine’s recapture of Lyman, a critical rail hub on the western edge of the Donbas, on Oct. 1.
Ukraine has also liberated Lyman’s neighboring settlements, gaining a foothold in the area of Donetsk Oblast bordering Luhansk Oblast.
Ukraine’s counteroffensive also appears to be progressing in Kharkiv Oblast, with emerging reports of newly liberated settlements on the eastern side of the Oskil River. While the military hasn’t commented on the status of the settlements, the local council in the village of Borova said that it was liberated.
Ukrainian forces have apparently made breakthroughs in Kherson Oblast. Russian proxies in the region said that the situation is “tense” for them.
Kherson Oblast councilman Serhiy Khlan named Osokorivka, Mykhailivka, Khreschenivka and Zolota Balka as villages either recaptured or where photos of Ukrainian soldiers have emerged, suggesting they might have been recaptured.
Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that Ukrainian tank units managed to advance in the direction of Zolota Balka and Oleksandrivka in Kherson Oblast, “penetrating into the depths of our defense.”
Ukrainian tank offensive had advanced dozens of kilometers along the western side of the Dnipro River, Reuters reported, citing Russian military bloggers.
The Ukrainian military doesn’t speak much about the southern counteroffensive, and the scale of Ukraine’s push in Kherson Oblast remains unclear.
Russia’s battlefield setbacks
Ukrainian forces continue to search for Russian soldiers that escaped Lyman, liberated on Oct. 1, and may be hiding in the forests, according to Spokesman of the Eastern Group of Ukraine's Armed Forces Serhiy Cherevaty. Governor Haidai said some Russian soldiers were able to flee to the nearby Luhansk Oblast, mostly occupied by Russia.
The command’s spokesman said the situation remains “very dangerous” in Lyman, with Russian forces leaving “an extremely large number” of mines.
Ukraine’s gains have degraded the morale of Russian forces, which persuaded some of them to either be captured or leave their positions on the front line, Ukraine’s General Staff said in an evening update on Oct. 2.
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russia would "consult" with local populations in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, among the occupied territories it had declared annexed on Sept. 30, to clearly establish the borders to be incorporated into Russia.
The Southern Operational Command of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported on Oct. 3 that Ukrainian forces continue their campaign to destroy Russian military positions, including their equipment, control points and logistic facilities.
Russian forces continue to defend themselves but some have fled while others have resorted to “fire and psychological pressure on the civilian population” near the front line, according to the command.
In Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine’s military repelled attacks near five settlements on Oct. 3, Ukraine’s General Staff reported.
Russia’s collapse in the eastern front line reveals that President Vladimir Putin “cares far more about holding the strategic terrain of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts than he does about Luhansk Oblast,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said on Oct. 1.
Russia continued to reinforce its positions in the south even though its defense was collapsing on the country’s east as Ukrainian forces recaptured Lyman, according to ISW.
Casualties and attacks
Russian forces launched two missile strikes and seven airstrikes across Ukraine on Oct. 3, predominantly in the east and south, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.
Another torture chamber was found in Kharkiv Oblast’s liberated village of Pisky-Radkivski, where local residents are believed to have been held captive in “inhumane conditions,” the National Police reported.
Russian attacks continue on Kharkiv Oblast. A missile strike hit a medical facility near Kupiansk, a town liberated in early September, killing an anesthesiologist and wounding a nurse, Governor Oleh Synyehubov said. He added that the building is “almost completely destroyed from the first to the fourth floor.”
In Donetsk Oblast, Russian forces shelled settlements along the front line from Avdiivka to Siversk overnight, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said. One of the buildings hit was a dormitory of an educational institution, and at least one person is under the rubble, according to the official.
In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Governor Oleksandr Strukh said that Russian forces launched 10 attacks using the S-300 missile system on Zaporizhzhia and its neighboring villages. He said the strikes hit undisclosed infrastructure facilities in the city.