October 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Rhea Mogul, Sana Noor Haq, Hannah Strange, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 2:24 a.m. ET, October 6, 2022
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8:19 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Putin signs laws claiming to annex 4 Ukrainian regions

From CNN's Mick Krever, Josh Pennington and Rob Picheta

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in Moscow on September 30.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in Moscow on September 30. (Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law measures that claim to annex four Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation.

The claimed annexations of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson are illegal under international law.

Leaders around the world have said they are the result of “sham” referendums held at gunpoint, and will never be recognized.

However, the move is an important step in Russia’s faltering effort to seize control in Ukraine, with Putin claiming that the will of occupied Ukrainians is to belong to Russia — offering a false pretext to his efforts to claim the occupied territories as Moscow’s.

Western officials have previously suggested that Putin will likely seek to reframe Ukraine's counteroffensive in the four regions and any others as an attack on Russia sovereignty.

Some context: Russia does not fully control the regions it claims to have annexed and Moscow is losing territory to the Ukrainian military in the south and east of the country by the day. In some areas, such as Kherson, those losses are coming at a rapid pace.

The Kremlin does not even appear to be clear on the borders of the territory it is annexing. Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Monday said “we will continue consulting with the population of these regions.”

A regional Ukrainian official in the Zaporizhzhia region said on Tuesday that Russia was trying to establish a “state border” at the Vasylivka checkpoint, which separates Russian-held territory from the rest of Ukraine, including the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia.

8:19 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Retreating Russians are leaving mines near Kherson, Ukrainian military says

From CNN's Mick Krever in London and Olga Voitovych in Kyiv

Russian troops are leaving mines in southern Ukrainian villages as they retreat along the western bank of the Dnieper River, the Ukrainian military said on Wednesday.

“Leaving the settlements in the Kherson region, the enemy mines infrastructure facilities and private houses, prohibits any movement of local residents,” the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its morning briefing. 

It comes as Ukrainian forces have made additional gains in the south, pushing toward the occupied city of Kherson and capturing the town of Zolota Balka on the western bank of the Dnipro river, according to a regional official and pro-Russian military blogger.

Conscription claims: The Ukrainian Armed Forces also claimed Wednesday that pro-Russian authorities in occupied areas of Ukraine were “trying to compensate for the loss of personnel” on the battlefield by conscripting Ukrainians into the Russian military.

“According to the available information, men from Luhansk, without conducting a medical commission and training, after mobilization are immediately sent to replenish the units that suffered the greatest losses,” the General Staff said.

Ukrainian officials have been warning for some time that Russia planned to use its claimed annexations as a pretext to draft Ukrainians in occupied areas.

On Monday, the Ukrainian military said Russian troops were carrying out “door-to-door” checks in occupied areas of Ukraine, looking for young men of conscription age, adding that Moscow had stepped up document inspections at checkpoints.

1:29 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Ukraine says at least 1 dead after Russian forces strike multiple targets with Iran-supplied "kamikaze drones"

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Josh Pennington

Governor of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, speaks during an interview in Kyiv on March 8.
Governor of the Kyiv region, Oleksiy Kuleba, speaks during an interview in Kyiv on March 8. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters)

Russian forces on Wednesday launched repeated attacks with Iranian-supplied "kamikaze drones" against targets in Ukraine's Kyiv region and to the south in Odesa, killing at least one person, according to Ukrainian officials. 

"There have been a repeated series of kamikaze drone strikes on Bila Tserkva infrastructure," Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv region state administration, posted on Telegram. "There are fires at infrastructure facilities. There is one victim."

Kuleba added emergency crews were responding and asked all Kyiv residents "to remain in their shelters."  

"The danger is still present," Kuleba warned, as air raid sirens sounded in the region.

Kirilo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office, said Russian forces had also launched an attack on the southern port city of Odesa with a "Shahed-136" kamikaze drone. 

Tymoshenko said Ukrainian air defense forces were able to "detect and destroy the enemy's drone over the sea," in a post on his Telegram account.

Unverified videos posted on social media Wednesday showed fire and plumes of smoke in the night sky following the attack on Bila Tserkva south of Kyiv.

Some context: US intelligence warned in July that Tehran planned to send Russia “hundreds” of bomb-carrying drones for use in the war in Ukraine. In August, a US official told CNN Russian troops were believed to have been training on the Iranian built drones for several weeks.

Iran began showcasing the Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones, also known as UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, to Russia at Kashan Airfield south of Tehran in June, US officials told CNN. 

Both types of drones are capable of carrying precision-guided missiles. 

1:14 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Japan to reopen embassy in Kyiv after 7-month closure

From CNN’s Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno attends a news conference in Tokyo on August 24.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno attends a news conference in Tokyo on August 24. (Kyodonews/Zuma Press)

Japan will reopen its embassy in Ukraine's capital Kyiv on Wednesday following a seven-month closure due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"After careful consideration, we have decided to reopen the Japanese embassy in Kyiv while taking sufficient safety measures into account," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters at a news conference. 

Japan temporarily closed its embassy in Kyiv in early March, transferring staff members and operations to a temporary liaison office in the western city of Lviv. Embassy staff left Ukraine later that month as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine intensified.

Japan's move Wednesday comes as other Group of Seven nations also resume diplomatic operations in Ukraine.

8:20 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Ukrainian police claim to have uncovered "torture chamber" in formerly occupied town

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva and Mick Krever

Ukrainian police on Tuesday claimed to have uncovered a “torture chamber” in the formerly Russian-occupied town of Pisky-Radkivski in the northeastern Kharkiv region.

Among the items found, according to police, was a container full of extracted gold teeth.

“After the liberation of the village of Pisky-Radkivski, local residents reported to the police that in the basement of one of the houses captives were kept — local residents, ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] soldiers and POWs from the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigation department of the National Police in the Kharkiv region, said in a statement on Facebook.

Bolvinov said local residents heard constant screaming from the building.

“Investigators and prosecutors are working to establish all the facts that took place in this torture chamber,” he said.
8:20 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Ukraine pushes further toward Kherson as Zelensky praises "fast and powerful advance"

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva and Victoria Butenko in Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Tuesday, October 4.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during his evening video message on Tuesday, October 4. (Office of President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian forces have pushed even further toward the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday.

“The Ukrainian army is making a rather fast and powerful advance in the south of our country in the course of the ongoing defensive operation,” Zelensky said in his evening address. “Dozens of settlements have already been liberated from the Russian pseudo-referendum this week alone.”

In the southern Kherson region, he said the towns of Liubymivka, Khreshchenivka, Zolota Balka, Biliaiivka, Ukraiinka, Velyka, Mala Oleksandrivka and Davydiv Brid had all been liberated, “and this is not a complete list.”

“Our warriors do not stop. And it is only a matter of time when we will expel the occupier from all our land," he said.

Kherson is one of the four regions in Ukraine that Russia has claimed it is annexing in violation of international law.

8:52 p.m. ET, October 4, 2022

Russian diplomat: US military aid to Ukraine hastens possibility of "direct military clash"

From CNN's Mick Krever, Uliana Pavlova, and Josh Pennington

US military aid to Ukraine is hastening the possibility of a “direct military clash” between Russia and NATO, a Russian diplomat said on Tuesday.

"The US continues to pump more weapons into Ukraine, facilitating the direct participation of its fighters and advisers in the conflict,” Konstantin Vorontsov, the head of the Russian delegation to the United Nations Disarmament Commission, said at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee.

“Not only does this prolong the fighting, but it also brings the situation closer to a dangerous line of a direct military clash between Russia and NATO," he added.

The diplomat's comments come as the US announced an additional $625 million in security assistance to Ukraine. In a statement Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken cited Ukrainian forces effectively using US support to push ahead with their “successful counteroffensive to take back their lands seized illegally by Russia.” 

8:44 p.m. ET, October 4, 2022

In call with Zelensky, President Biden and VP Harris say the US "will never recognize" Russia's annexations

From CNN's Arlette Saenz and Betsy Klein

US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Tuesday morning — days after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Moscow would annex four Ukrainian territories following so-called referendums that were universally dismissed as “a sham” by Ukraine and Western nations. 

Biden and Harris underscored “that the United States will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Ukrainian territory” and Biden “affirmed the continued readiness of the United States to impose severe costs on any individual, entity, or country that provides support to Russia’s purported annexation,” a White House readout said.

Biden reiterated his country's commitment to supporting Ukraine and the leaders discussed a new $625 million security assistance package, which includes four more rocket systems, known as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), as well as additional howitzers and ammunition, as CNN reported previously.

They also discussed a grain export agreement and “ongoing efforts of the United States to rally the world behind Ukraine’s efforts to defend its freedom and democracy, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter,” the readout said.

8:20 a.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Russian defense ministry map confirms significant losses in Ukraine’s Kherson region

From CNN's Mick Krever and Uliana Pavlova

A map used by the Russian Defense Ministry in its daily briefing on Tuesday confirmed significant Russian losses in Ukraine’s Kherson region, compared to a map of the same region used during its briefing on Monday.

The map confirms reports from Ukrainian and pro-Russian officials, as well as pro-Russian military analysts, of significant Ukrainian advances toward the occupied city of Kherson, down the western bank of the Dnipro River. 

Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, who spoke while the map was shown full-screen, did not mention the losses. But he did say the Russian military destroyed Ukrainian armor and killed Kyiv's forces in the area of several towns that are now understood to be under Ukrainian control — a tacit acknowledgement of Ukraine’s advance.