Ukrainian forces made advances in the area of Lyman in the Donetsk region throughout the week1Ukrainian forces liberated Lyman on 1 October, which is outside of the time period of this piece and will be covered in next week’s infographic. and recaptured several settlements in the Kupiansk and Izium districts of the Kharkiv region. Ukrainian forces also continued counteroffensive operations in the Kherson region, shelling Russian positions and re-supply routes.
Following widely discredited “referendums” the week prior, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson as part of Russia on 30 September (Wall Street Journal, 30 September 2022). Despite the claim, Russia did not clearly define the borders of the annexed territory, as Russian forces do not have full control over these areas (ISW, 30 September 2022). Some analysts suggest that one of the goals of the annexation is to allow the Kremlin to conscript Ukrainian civilians in the occupied territories (ISW, 26 September 2022). Much of the international community condemned the annexation and refused to recognize any potential changes to Ukrainian borders (Al Jazeera, 1 October 2022; Reuters, 30 September 2022).
Meanwhile, Russian forces also continued to target civilian infrastructure with shelling, missiles, and airstrikes, killing over 60 civilians last week.2Fatality numbers are frequently the most biased and poorly reported component of conflict data; they can vary considerably and are often the subject of debate given the strategic incentives to over- or underestimate these numbers, as well as the significant logistical difficulties in collecting accurate data, among other factors (for more, see this piece by ACLED in Washington Post, 2 October 2017). In Zaporizhia, Russian forces carried out a missile strike that hit a civilian evacuation column on 30 September, killing 30 people and wounding almost 100 (Ukrayinska Pravda, 30 September 2022).
For more information, including previous infographics and an interactive dashboard, visit our Ukraine Crisis research hub.