The recapture of the eastern Ukrainian city of Lyman by Ukrainian forces “demonstrates that the Ukrainians are making progress,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the NBC TV channel on Sunday, October 2.

Stolenberg said the withdrawal of Russian invaders in the area also showed that Ukraine was “able to push back Russian forces,” following Kyiv’s most significant victory since the beginning of its strong counteroffensive in September.

The liberation of Lyman was the result of “their [the Armed Forces of Ukraine] courage, because of their bravery, their skills, but also because of the advanced weapons that the United States and other allies are providing.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed in a video posted on his Telegram channel on the afternoon of Sunday, October 2 that Lyman – which is located in Donetsk Region – had been “completely liberated”, adding: “Thanks to our military! Glory to Ukraine!”

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Echoing Stoltenberg’s comments, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told CNN on October 2 Ukraine is “making progress” in its counteroffensive against Russia’s brutal ongoing invasion.

“What we’re seeing now is a kind of change in the battlefield dynamics,” Austin said. “They’ve done very, very well in the Kharkiv area and moved to take advantage of opportunities. The fight in the — the Kherson region’s going a bit slower, but they’re making progress.”

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Austin suggested that the shift was due to the skill of Ukrainian soldiers and the use of Western-supplied weapons – particularly HIMARS, and said that the weapons had been successfully used to “conduct attacks on things like logistical stores and command and control, that’s taking away… significant capability from the Russians.”

Ukrainians have “changed the dynamics, and it’s created an opportunity for the Ukrainians to manoeuvre,” he added, saying that the U.S. had so far been “very effective in providing them those things that are very, very effective on a battlefield.”

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“But it’s not just about the equipment that you have,” Austin elaborated. “It’s about how you employ that equipment, how you synchronize things together to create battlefield effects that then can create opportunities.”

“The Ukrainians have amazed the world in terms of their ability to fight back, their ability to exercise initiative, their commitment to the defense of their democracy,” he added. “And that willingness to fight has rallied the international community in an effort to help provide them the security assistance so that they can continue to fight.”

Meanwhile, on Saturday, October 1, Russian state-owned TV channel Russia-24 conceded that Russian forces had withdrawn from Lyman because “the enemy used both Western-made artillery and intelligence from North Atlantic alliance countries.”

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