Russian troops’ siege in Ukraine overshadows Putin’s annexation

  • Russia’s annexation of four regions condemned globally
  • Move is ‘dangerous escalation’ that threatens peace – UN chief
  • Ukraine’s Zelensky says war must stop to end Putin’s war
  • Zelensky calls emergency meeting on security and defense

ZAPORAZH, Ukraine, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Hundreds of Russian troops stationed in Ukraine were surrounded by one of their main garrison on Friday, on the verge of one of the worst defeats of the war, That overshadowed the celebrations over President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the annexation of Russia. confiscated land.

The pro-Russian leader of Ukraine’s Donetsk province has admitted that his forces have completely lost full control of the villages of Yampil and Dobryshev to the north and east of the city of Leman, leaving Moscow’s main garrison in northern Donetsk “semi-surrounded” “.

Ukrainian troops “do whatever it takes to sabotage our historical events,” Denis Pushlin said, referring to an annexation ceremony he will attend with Putin in the Kremlin later on Friday.

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“This is very unpleasant news, but we have to look at the situation soberly and draw conclusions from our mistakes.”

The Ukrainian military said it would not disclose details until the situation stabilized, but was moving to surround Russian troops in the area.

“All the enemy’s approach and logistical routes for the delivery of ammunition and manpower are practically under the fire control of the Ukrainian army,” said Sergei Cherevati, a spokesman for the Eastern Ukrainian forces.

Prominent Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksey Goncharenko tweeted: “Lyman is under siege! Ukrainian troops are already in Yampil. Russian troops are trying to escape.”

Pro-Russian military bloggers reported that Ukrainian troops had cut off thousands of Russian troops’ escape routes. Pushlin said one road to Lehman remained open, although he admitted it was now under Ukrainian fire.

bed sheet draped over body

Further south, the missile struck a convoy of civilian vehicles preparing to enter Russian-occupied territory from Ukrainian-held territory near Zaporozhye, killing at least 23 civilians. Ukrainian officials say it is Russia’s deliberate attempt to cut off the front’s last left wing. Moscow blamed the Ukrainians.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the attack showed that “the enemy is raging and seeking revenge for our steadfastness and his failures”.

“Bloodthirsty scum! You will answer. For every Ukrainian life lost!” Zelensky wrote on Telegram.

The convoy was gathering in a parking lot trying to enter Russian-held territory near Zaporozhye, the Ukrainian-controlled capital that Moscow claims is annexing. A checkpoint in the area has opened in recent days, allowing civilians to cross the front lines.

A crater was dug in the ground near the two lines of vehicles. The impact threw chunks of dirt into the air, and shrapnel splattered a car full of items, blankets and suitcases. Reuters saw about a dozen bodies.

Plastic sheets were covered over the bodies of a woman and a young man in a green car. Next to the young man in the back seat lies a dead cat. The two bodies lay in a white minivan in front of another vehicle, with its windows blown off and shrapnel strewn on the sides. There is an old woman’s body nearby, next to her shopping bag.

“So far, 23 dead and 28 wounded. All civilians,” Zaporozhye regional governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote on Telegram. “Occupiers attack unarmed Ukrainians. This is another terrorist attack by a terrorist state.”

A woman who identified herself as Natalia said she and her husband had visited their children in Zaporozhye and were preparing to travel back to Russian-held territory.

“We went back to my 90-year-old mother. We survived. It was a miracle,” she said, as she and her husband stood by their car.

Colonel Sergei Udyumov, head of the explosives disposal unit of the Zaporozhye police station, said the parking lot was hit by three S300 missiles.

Pro-Russian officials said without evidence Ukraine was responsible for the attack. Despite numerous confirmed incidents documented by the United Nations and other agencies, Russia has consistently denied that its forces targeted civilians.


Russia’s annexation of Russian-occupied territories such as Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye follows what the West has accused of being false referendums on guns.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called it a “dangerous escalation” that violated the UN charter.

“It can still be stopped. But to stop it, we have to stop the man in Russia who wants war, not lives. Your lives, Russian citizens,” Zelensky said in remarks late Thursday.

Kremlin leaders opted to escalate the war as Putin’s troops were forced to flee Ukraine’s Kharkiv province this month. Last week, he backed the annexation of Russian-held territory, ordered the draft of hundreds of thousands of reservists and threatened to use nuclear weapons if Russia was attacked.

On Friday, the Kremlin reiterated that any attack on territory it now annexes would be an attack on Russia itself. Ukraine said it would take back all of its territory.

Zelensky promised a strong response to annexation and called an emergency meeting of his defense and security chiefs on Friday, an official said.

In a televised speech on the eve of the annexation ceremony, Putin acknowledged “mistakes” in his recruitment process but said it would be corrected and those who should not have been drafted would be released.

Tens of thousands of men have fled Russia to avoid conscription. Western nations say Moscow is pushing unprepared troops to the front lines with little or no training and ill-equipped. The MoD said the army was told to buy its own first aid kit.

Putin’s call-up order did not detail who had to be drafted into the army. In his televised address, Putin acknowledged that call-ups had been issued to older men and others he believed should be exempt, and promised to rectify all such mistakes.

Members of ethnic minorities said they were particularly attacked, leading to unrest in southern Russia and Siberia.

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Reporting from the Reuters office; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Robert Birsel, Angus MacSwan and Alex Richardson

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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