Ukraine war: Kyiv 'makes biggest advance in the south since war began'

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By Joshua Askew  with AFP/AP/Reuters
A Ukrainian soldier speaks to his brothers in arms while his unit waits for order to fire in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.
A Ukrainian soldier speaks to his brothers in arms while his unit waits for order to fire in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.   -   Copyright  Inna Varenytsia/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved   -  

Key developments to know about from Russia's war in Ukraine:

1. Ukraine 'makes biggest advance in the south since war began'

Kyiv made a major military breakthrough in south Ukraine on Monday, Reuters reports.

Ukrainian troops recaptured villages along the banks of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine, creating a large front that is forcing Moscow to abandon ground it annexed only days ago.

The advance into the Kherson region was the biggest Kyiv has made since the war began in February, according to Reuters.

It comes off the back of similar breakthroughs in the east that have turned the tide of the war in recent weeks, prompting Russia to mobilise hundreds of thousands of reserve troops.

Monday's advance was confirmed by an official of the Russian-backed administration in Kherson province, which Russia seized early on in the war. 

Credit: AP
Ukrainian tank T-64 fires in Russian troops' positions direction, in Bakhmut, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.Credit: AP

Vladimir Saldo said that a number of settlements along the river had been captured, reaching as far as the village of Dudchany. This would represent an advance of around 40km (25 miles) in a single day.

"Information is tense, let's put it that way, because, yes there were indeed breakthroughs," Saldo told Russian state television.

Kyiv has so far remained tight-lipped about the situation in Kherson.

In one of the rare images apparently confirming the advance, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior ministry, posted a photo of Ukrainian soldiers posing with their flag draping a golden statue of an angel.

Gerashchenko said it was the village of Mikhailivka, which would represent an advance of around 20 km (12 miles).

Euronews cannot independently verify these reports.

2. Chechen leader to send teenage sons to Ukraine front, one aged 14

The head of Russia's Chechen Republic announced on Monday that he would send his teenage boys to fight in Ukraine. 

Ramzan Kadyrov, a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said his three sons -- aged 14, 15 and 16 -- would head into battle in Ukraine on Telegram. 

He made the announcement just days after criticising the Russian military command and calling for the use of nuclear weapons. 

"The time has come [for them] to shine in a real battle, and I can only salute their determination," Kadyrov wrote in a Telegram post on his official channel, referring to his sons named Akhmat, Eli and Adam. 

"Soon they will go to the front line and they will find themselves in the most difficult areas of the contact line," he added. 

The Chechen leader has 14 children, according to his official website, but Russian media say he may have more.

AP/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Russian province of Chechnya gestures speaking to about 10,000 troops in Chechnya's regional capital of Grozny, Russia, Tuesday, March 29, 2022.AP/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

"I have always thought that the main mission of a father was to teach his sons piety and to teach them to defend their family, their people and their country. Who wants peace, prepares for war!", he wrote in a later Telegram post on Monday.

On Saturday, Kadyrov said Russia should consider using a low-yield nuclear weapon in Ukraine amid major defeats on the battlefield in the east.  

"In my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, right up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons," the Kremlin-appointed leader said. 

These remarks were later rebuffed by Moscow, which said on Monday that "emotions must be excluded." 

"We prefer to make measured and objective assessments," Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked about Kadyrov's statement, though he praised his "heroic contribution" to the Ukraine war effort. 

Conscription is mandatory for all males in Russia from the age of 18.

International humanitarian law forbids children from taking part in hostilities between states or being recruited into armed groups. 

3. Russian military official suspended for mobilising thousands by mistake

A head of military recruitment in Russia's Far East has been suspended, after thousands of people were mistakenly called up to fight in Ukraine, announced a local official on Monday. 

"The military commissar of the Khabarovsk region, Yuri Laiko, is suspended from his duties," Governor Mikhail Degtiariov said in a video on Telegram. "This will have no influence on the goal set for us by the president." 

He did not give the exact reason for the suspension but implied that it was linked to several errors.

"In ten days, several thousand of our compatriots received summonses and went to military police stations. We sent home about half of them because they did not meet the selection criteria to enter the army," the governor said.

Other conscripted men in eastern Siberia have been sent home, while military officials in the Magadan region have also been dismissed for recruitment errors. 

In September, Putin ordered a "partial" mobilisation of 300,000 reserve forces, after significant battlefield losses in Ukraine. 

Only people with military experience or useful skills were supposed to be mobilised in the official announcement. However, multiple cases have been reported of the elderly, students, the sick or conscripts without military experience being called up to fight. 

This has provoked discontent in some areas of Russia, especially Dagestan, an impoverished region in the Caucasus that has one of the highest numbers of soldiers killed in Ukraine

Last week, Vladimir Putin demanded that the "errors be corrected" in the mobilisation, which has triggered demonstrations in Russia and caused thousands of men to flee abroad.