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Russia-Ukraine War Latest: What We Know On Day 223 Of The Invasion

Russia no longer has full control of any of the four provinces of Ukraine it says it annexed last week, after Ukrainian troops reportedly advanced dozens of kilometres in Kherson province. The Russian military has acknowledged that Kyiv’s forces had broken through in the Kherson region. It said the Ukrainian army and its “superior tank units” had managed to “penetrate the depths of our defence” around the villages of Zoltaya Balka and Alexsandrovka.

Earlier on Monday, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said the Kremlin was still determining which areas of occupied Ukraine it has “annexed”. Putin has vowed to protect Russia’s newly claimed territories using “all means at its disposal”, indicating a potential nuclear strike. The lack of a clear red line may undermine his attempts at using nuclear deterrence to halt Ukraine’s successful counteroffensive and western support for Kyiv.

The Kremlin also said Russia favours a “balanced approach” to the issue of nuclear weapons that is not based on emotion. The remarks by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov come after Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-appointed leader of the Chechnya region, said Moscow should consider using a “low-yield” nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

Ukraine has “fully cleared” Russian forces from the key eastern city of Lyman, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, confirmed, a day after Moscow admitted its troops had pulled out after they were encircled.

Ukrainian brigades appear to have achieved their biggest breakthrough in the region since the war started, bursting through the frontline and advancing rapidly along the Dnieper River. Lyman’s recapture by Ukrainian troops is Russia’s largest battlefield loss since Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region in September.

President Zelenskiy said Ukraine is not just experiencing military success in Lyman, but also in Kherson. In his overnight statement, he said Ukraine forces have liberated the small Arkhanhelske and Myrolyubivka settlements in the Kherson region. Vladimir Saldo, the head of the Russian-imposed authority in the region, admitted that Ukrainians had gained some ground.

Russias’s ministry of defence spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, said Russian troops had occupied what he called a “pre-prepared defensive line”. His comments are an admission that Ukraine’s southern counter-offensive is dramatically gaining pace, two months after it began.

A close-up map of the Lyman region Ukraine’s military has said its forces recaptured the village of Torske near Lyman in the Donetsk region on Sunday. Russian forces who have been forced to retreat towards Luhansk’s city of Kreminna are being hit “with fire” by Ukrainian missile units, artillery and air forces, according to Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for the eastern group of Ukraine’s armed forces.

Elon Musk has prompted an online row with Zelansky after he asked Twitter users to weigh in on his ideas to end Russia’s war. In a tweet, Musk suggested UN-supervised elections in four occupied regions that Moscow has falsely annexed after what it called referendums. Zelenskiy responded with his own poll. “Which @elonmusk do you like more?,” he wrote, offering two responses: one who supports Ukraine, or supports Russia.

The US will deliver four more of the advanced rocket systems to Ukraine. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, known as HIMARS, will be part of a new $625m aid package to be announced on Tuesday, according to US officials.

North Korea voiced support Tuesday for Russia’s annexation of areas of Ukraine that its troops occupy, and accused the US and its allies of acting like a gangster by leading a drive at the UN against Moscow’s behaviour.

The lower house of Russia’s parliament, the state Duma, has approved laws on annexing four Ukrainian territories into Russia. No lawmakers in the lower house voted against the bill to incorporate the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk and Luhansk regions into Russia. Lawmakers in the upper house, Russia’s federation council, are expected to formalise the illegal annexation on Tuesday.

The head of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine has been released, according to the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi. Ihor Murashov was detained on Friday by a Russian patrol as he travelled from the Zaporizhzhia plant to the town of Enerhodar, according to the state-owned company in charge of the plant.

Russia has put Marina Ovsyannikova, the former state TV editor who interrupted a news broadcast to protest against the Ukraine war, on a wanted list after she reportedly escaped house arrest. The Ukrainian-born Ovsyannikova, 44, gained international attention in March after bursting into a studio of Channel One, her then employer, to denounce the Ukraine war during a live news bulletin.

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