October 6, 2020 Russia-Ukraine news

By Kathleen Magramo, Sana Noor Haq, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Melissa Macaya, Matt Meyer and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 2:26 AM ET, Fri October 7, 2022
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10:36 a.m. ET, October 6, 2022

Ukrainian forces advance into Luhansk region for first time since conflict began, social media images show

From CNN's Tim Lister

Ukrainian soldiers stand at the entrance to the village of Hrekivka, inside Luhansk region.
Ukrainian soldiers stand at the entrance to the village of Hrekivka, inside Luhansk region. (Obtained by CNN)

Social media images from Wednesday showed Ukrainian troops in at least one village in the eastern Luhansk area, after crossing from the neighboring Donetsk region.

One photograph showed a Ukrainian unit kneeling and standing around a road sign at the village of Hrekivka, just inside Luhansk region.

It is the first time since the beginning of the conflict in March that Ukrainian troops have advanced into Luhansk.  

More on Ukraine's advances: All of the Luhansk region is claimed as Russian territory by the Kremlin, following its forcible annexation. But in recent days Ukrainian forces have been approaching the region from several directions, building on their successful offenses in Kharkiv and Donetsk. 

Social media video also showed Ukrainian troops in the town of Terny in Donetsk region, about 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) from the town of Kreminna in Luhansk, which analysts believe is a critical defensive line for the Russians now they have lost ground in both Donetsk and Kharkiv regions.

The Ukrainian advances in the northeast come within days of the so-called referendums held by pro-Russian local authorities that led to the annexation by Moscow of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as much of Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Since the annexation measures were approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin last Friday, Russian forces have lost hundreds of square kilometers of territory in Donetsk and Kherson. 

8:43 p.m. ET, October 5, 2022

Putin predicts annexed Ukrainian regions will stabilize despite Moscow's lack of control

From CNN's Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Mick Krever and Uliana Pavlova

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he expects the situation to stabilize in four war-torn regions of Ukraine after signing legislation to annex them on Wednesday, despite the fact that Russia’s military does not fully control those areas.

While Russian state television hailed Putin’s inking of the annexation process, pro-Kremlin pundits delivered rare dispatches on the growing setbacks faced by Moscow’s troops on the ground.

Russian forces appear to be buckling under growing pressure as Ukraine continues to regain territory in the south, where Russian soldiers have been forced to retreat from previously-held settlements as Kyiv progresses with its counteroffensive towards the Russian-occupied city of Kherson.

Despite losing territory in the south to the Ukrainian military at rapid pace, Putin on Wednesday signed several laws ratifying the Russian Federation’s claimed annexation of four Ukrainian regions — Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

In a bid to celebrate the news, Putin took the opportunity in a televised meeting for Teachers’ Day to congratulate educators from “all 89 regions of Russia,” a number that includes the newly annexed territories.

Putin said he was “pleased” and “surprised” by the referendums’ results and claimed that the regions will now be stabilized and developed while “helping strengthen the country as a whole.”

The annexations are illegal under international law. World leaders have said they are the result of “sham” referendums that will never be recognized.

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