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Ukraine has set its sights on freeing all territory occupied by invading Russian forces after driving them back in a speedy counter-offensive in the northeast, a goal US President Joe Biden said would be “a long haul” achieving.

Ukraine forces advance further after fall of Russian stronghold

Fighting

  • President Zelenskiy said Ukraine had recaptured around 8,000 square km (3,100 square miles), apparently all in the northeastern region of Kharkiv. About half that area had been made secure and “stabilisation measures are still ongoing” in the other half, he said.

  • Ukrainian presidential adviser Arestovych held out the prospects of moving on the eastern province of Luhansk, adding there was “now an assault on Lyman and there could be an advance on Siversk”.

  • Ukraine has made significant progress as it pushes back Russian forces but it is not possible to tell if the war is at a turning point, US President Biden said.

  • The United States is likely to announce a new military aid package for Ukraine in “coming days”.

  • The Ukrainian deputy defence minister visited the town of Balakliia and said 150,000 people had been freed from Russian rule in recent days.

  • Repair crews have restored the two main power lines supplying Kharkiv city and its surrounds, power firm Ukrenergo said.

  • Ukraine expects the number of Russian attacks on its energy infrastructure to increase ahead of winter. * Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.

Diplomacy, politics

  • German Chancellor Scholz urged Russian President Putin in a phone call to find a diplomatic solution as soon as possible, based on ceasefire, complete withdrawal of Russian troops and respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, a German government spokesperson said.

  • A group of St Petersburg politicians who called for Putin to be sacked over the war faces the likely dissolution of their district council following a judge’s ruling, one of the deputies said.

Nuclear plant

  • All three of the backup power lines at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine have been restored, the UN nuclear watchdog said. The lines had been brought down by shelling around the plant.

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