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Putin’s Troops Make Hasty Retreat Back Into Russia

Ammunition left behind by Russian soldiers

Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger, Jeff Israely and Emma Albright

Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service posted a video Tuesday morning with the caption "Vovchansk is back home.” In the video, Ukrainian troops can be seen removing Russian flags and signs from buildings in the city in the northeast Kharkiv region. Vovchansk was occupied on the first day of the invasion and reports began to come in Sunday that it had been vacated by Russian troops.

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The city is one of more than 20 settlements of the country liberated over the past 24 hours. In his Monday evening address, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian military had liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers of the country's territory in the east and south.


As Russian forces are pushed out of the Kharkiv region amid Ukraine's counteroffensive, many of them have moved back into Russia, an unnamed U.S. military official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. Reports of Russian forces leaving their equipment behind, "could be indicative of Russia's disorganized command and control," the official said.

Russian Left-Behind Ammo On Dutch Front Page

Amsterdam-based daily de Volkskrant lends its front page to the “Ukrainian euphoria over the rapid advance” as part of Kyiv’s counteroffensive. On the photograph, a Ukrainian soldier is seen handling Russian mines and weapons left behind by the retreating Russian army.

Kyiv Wants More Weapons, Washington Hesitates

Army Tactical Missile Systems

Nevar Vitaly/TASS


According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Ukraine will request additional weapons from the U.S. and its allies in order to press its offensive into 2023, including Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATMS), which have a range of over 300 kilometers.

The announcement comes amid Ukraine's ongoing successful counteroffensive. The Biden administration has reportedly declined to provide such weapons to Ukraine in the past owing to concerns they could be used to strike Russian territory.

Will Kyiv Consider A “Counter-Invasion”?

Soldier in front of damages from military strikes on Stakhanov, Lugansk People's Republic

TASS


In light of events on the ground in Ukraine and the state of mind inside the Kremlin, a lingering question returns to the fore: Should Kyiv launch attacks inside of Russia? Is it time, in other words, to launch a sort of counter-invasion to undermine Putin’s very grip on power?

The successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in the northeast has brought Kyiv’s troops to the border, now with the artillery capacity to strike inside Russian territory.

But now that Kyiv has regained the territory, and has improved firepower capacity, the question of if and how to cross the border is also on the table. Read the analysis by Anna Akage.

Armenian And Azerbaijan Hostilities Sparks Fear Of Another War

A flag over an observation post at an Armenian checkpoint

Alexander Ryumin/TASS

At least 49 Armenian soldiers have been killed along the border with Azerbaijan after an escalation in hostilities. This decade-old conflict in the post-Soviet era is raising fears that another war could break out in the region after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of shelling Armenian towns because it did not want to negotiate over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, a portion of territory that is located inside Azerbaijan but mainly occupied by ethnic Armenians.

Both Russia and the U.S. have called on the countries to settle their differences. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement, “we urge an end to any military hostilities immediately.” Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan “should be resolved exclusively through political and diplomatic means”.

Zaporizhzhia Backup Power Line Restored

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant in Ukraine

IAEA/ZUMA

The International Atomic Energy Agency restored a second backup power line to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Two operating power lines allow one to be kept in reserve while the other provides the plant with electricity necessary for “reactor cooling and other essential safety functions,” IAEA reported.

The plant’s fifth and final reactor unit was also shut down yesterday has entered a “cold shutdown state” like the facility’s five other reactors, which means the unit will not need as much energy for cooling, the IAEA said.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko said that, to guarantee its safety, the nuclear plant must be liberated, demilitarized, and returned to Ukraine's control. “Anything short of this won’t make Russia stop its dangerous game,” Nikolenko said.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Says “Crimea Is Ukraine,” Calls For Nuremberg 2

Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov

Sergei Kholodilin/TASS


Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that “criminals” lead the Russian Federation and must be held accountable by the interntional community.

"The Russians are committing crimes on the territory of Ukraine, so this is the need for a future tribunal. Call it the "Nuremberg Trial", "Nuremberg-2", whatever you like,” he said, speaking at the YES (Yalta European Strategy) forum. “I think it should be held in Mariupol or Kharkiv, but in its essence it will be the Nuremberg Trial, where the criminals who lead the Russian Federation today, who give criminal orders, should be brought to international criminal responsibility."

Reznikov added: "We cannot talk about restoring territory to what it was as of February 24 of the current year. It should only be about the full restoration of Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders as of 1991. This means that Crimea is Ukraine, the whole of Donbas is Ukraine," the Minister said. "Victory is when I can get on a plane in Kharkiv and fly to the restored Mariupol on a domestic flight, and then fly from there to Kherson, and then from Kherson to Istanbul or London. This means that Ukraine is safe."

Atwood, Gurnah Join Ukrainian Authors In Lviv BookForum Festival


Nobel prize-winning authors Margaret Atwood and Abdulrazak Gurnah will attend the Lviv BookForum alongside Ukrainian authors. Lviv BookForum is Ukraine’s largest book festival, and will take place in person and online Oct. 6-9. Hay, the festival’s digital partner, will broadcast the festival’s events online for free.

Hay festival’s international director Cristina Fuentes La Roche qualified the festival’s program as “an act of defiance, a challenge to those who would curtail free expression and the tolerant exchange of ideas, and a catalyst for global change.”

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and has remained mostly safe from fighting.

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Geopolitics

Why The 'Perfect Storm' Of Iran's Protests May Be Unstoppable

The latest round of anti-regime protests in Iran is different than other in the 40 years of the Islamic Republic: for its universality and boldness, the level of public fury and grief, and the role of women and social media. The target is not some policy or the economy, but the regime itself.

A woman holds a lock of her hair during a London rally to protest the murder of Mahsa Amini in London

Roshanak Astaraki

-Analysis-

The death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran on Sept. 16, after a possible beating at a police station, has sparked outrage and mass protests in Iran and abroad. There have been demonstrations and a violent attempt to suppress them in more than 100 districts in every province of Iran.

These protests may look like others since 2017, and back even to 1999 — yet we may be facing an unprecedented turning point in Iranians' opposition to the Islamic Republic. Indeed newly installed conservative President Ibrahim Raisi could not have expected such momentum when he set off for a quick trip to New York and back for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

For one of the mistakes of a regime that takes pride in dismissing the national traditions of Iran is to have overlooked the power of grief among our people.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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