Ukraine claims rapid pushback of Russian troops

STORY: There were multiple scenes reported like this on Tuesday (October 4) of Ukrainian soldiers raising flags as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced major, rapid advances against Russian forces and the freeing of dozens of towns in the south and the east.

In a Tuesday night time address Zelenskiy said, quote:

“This week alone, since the Russian pseudo-referendum, dozens of population centers have been liberated. These are in Kherson, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk regions.”

Russia proclaimed the annexation of those regions last Friday (September 30) after holding what it called referendums, votes that were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive.

In Kharkiv, Ukrainian soldiers filmed themselves after retaking the village of in Borivska Andriivka.

Here in Kherson, one soldier raised the flag shouting ‘Glory to Ukraine’ with similar scenes said to have taken place in other areas of the region.

The videos are all said to have been filmed on Tuesday. Reuters has verified the locations in the videos, but could not independently verify the date.

Ukrainian forces retook several villages along the strategic Dnipro River on Monday (October 3), according to Ukrainian officials and a Russian-backed leader in the area.

In the east, Ukrainian soldiers have been expanding an offensive after capturing the town of Lyman in the north of Donetsk.

Meanwhile, Russian forces in the Donetsk and Kherson regions have been forced to retreat in recent days and seem to be struggling to stop an increasingly Western-equipped Ukrainian army.

U.S. President Joe Biden told Zelenskiy in a call on Tuesday the U.S. would provide Ukraine with $625 million dollars in new security assistance

In a decree on Tuesday, Zelenskiy formally declared any talks with Putin "impossible," while leaving the door open to talks with Moscow if it got a new leader.

The Kremlin said that what it calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine would not end if Kyiv ruled out talks, adding that it "takes two sides to negotiate."