Kherson and Luhansk are, together with Donetsk and Zaporizhzhya, the four Ukrainian areas that Russia claimed on Friday – in violation of international law – that the country had annexed after the staged sham votes.

At the same time, reports from the front show a completely different narrative.

On the strategically important streets of Lyman are fallen Russian soldiers left behind after the Russian retreat, AP reports.

Ukrainian forces continue to advance and have retaken more land in regions that Russia claims to have annexed, as confirmed by the Russian-installed occupation regime in Kherson.

Progress in regions

Further east, Ukraine is also making progress in the Russian-occupied region of Luhansk, the BBC reports.

- The fact that Ukraine is now pushing the counter-offensive in two directions means that Russian freedom of action is being limited.

They cannot redistribute forces between the operational areas, says Jörgen Elfving.

- In addition, this means another "onion on the salmon" in terms of the Russian joy after the annexation of the regions, he continues.

See more in the clip above.