Russia’s loss of Lyman is a new blow to the Kremlin as it seeks to escalate the war by illegally annexing four regions of Ukraine.

The weapons will be produced in Slovakia, and delivery to Ukraine will begin in 2023.
The weapons will be produced in Slovakia, and delivery to Ukraine will begin in 2023. (AFP)

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Germany, Denmark, Norway to give Ukraine howitzers

Germany, Denmark and Norway have agreed to supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, as Kiev seeks heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

The announcement came after German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht visited Ukraine this weekend for the first time since Moscow's invasion in February.

Germany, Denmark and Norway had agreed to jointly finance the procurement of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns at a cost of $90.2 million (92 million euros), said the defence ministry in Berlin.

Putin moves to legalise annexation 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted to parliament a draft constitutional law on the admission of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions to the Russian Federation, state media reported.

The Russian state media also reported that parliamentary elections in the four annexed regions will be held on a single voting day in September 2023.

The ruble has been declared the monetary unit in the regions, however, the Ukrainian hryvnia will be allowed to be used until December 31. 

NATO urge support for Ukraine 

Heads of nine European NATO members have issued a joint statement backing a path to membership for Ukraine after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy applied for fast-track NATO membership on Friday in response to Russia's annexation. 

The leaders of Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania and Slovakia said they “firmly stood behind the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit decision concerning Ukraine’s future membership,” at which NATO members welcomed Ukraine and Georgia’s aspirations to join.

The nine countries, fearful that Russia could target them next if it isn't stopped in Ukraine, also called on all 30 NATO nations to "substantially increase" military aid for Kiev.

Ukraine advance in Lyman shows it can push back Russian forces -NATO chief

Ukraine's capture of a city within territory of Russia's declared annexation demonstrates that Ukrainians are making progress and able to push back against Russian forces, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said.

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 Kiev.

Ukraine's Lyman 'cleared' of Russian troops

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that a key town in the country's east, located in one of the four Ukrainian regions that Russia annexed, was "completely cleared" of Moscow's troops.

"As of 12:30pm (0930 GMT) Lyman is completely cleared. Thank you to our military!" Zelenskyy said in a video posted on social media.

Pope appeals to Putin to end violence in Ukraine

Pope Francis has implored Putin to “stop this spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine, and denounced what he called the “absurd” risk of nuclear war.

On Sunday, Francis made his strongest appeal yet on the seventh-month war as he addressed the public in St. Peter’s Square.

The pontiff also called on 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.

Russia blocks SoundCloud citing spread of 'false information'

Russia has restricted access to music-streaming app SoundCloud citing "false information" about what Moscow calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine, Interfax news agency reports.

Russia has battled big tech companies to control the flow of information after it sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, slowing Twitter's service and banning Meta's Facebook and Instagram.

Zelenskyy pledges more flags in eastern Ukraine 'in a week'

"Throughout this week, more Ukrainian flags have been raised in the Donbass. There will be even more in a week," Zelenskyy said in his address after Kiev said its forces had begun moving into the key eastern town of Lyman and the Defence Ministry posted a video of soldiers holding up a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag there.

Ukraine aide posts video of troops saying they control Lyman town

In the video, Ukrainian forces declared that they had taken control of the key town of Lyman, which Russia said earlier its soldiers had abandoned.

"Dear Ukrainians - today the armed forces of Ukraine ... liberated and took control of the settlement of Lyman, Donetsk region," one of the soldiers said in the video posted by KyryloTymoshenko, deputy head of the president's office.

For live updates from Saturday (October 1), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies