Ukraine has recaptured territory ‘at least twice the size of Greater London’ in just 5 days, UK ministry says
A military truck bearing Russia invasion forces’ “Z” symbol lies blasted in the town of Balakliya, which Ukrainian troops liberated over the weekend.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Russian troops are probably retreating entirely from Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast in the face of a sweeping Ukrainian counteroffensive that began late last week, the British government said in a daily update Monday.
The statement from Britain’s Ministry of Defense follows widespread posts on social media by Ukrainian troops that appear to show them advancing through towns dozens of miles east of where the front lay only five days ago.
“In the face of Ukrainian advances, Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River,” the ministry said, adding that “since Wednesday, Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London.”
In a Telegram post over the weekend, Russia’s Defense Ministry said that Moscow had decided to “regroup” some troops outside Kharkiv Oblast.
Ukrainian successes in the north at Kharkiv, coupled with advances in the south at Kherson, have likely forced Moscow to commit its forces to “emergency defensive actions,” the U.K. ministry said.
“The already limited trust deployed troops have in Russia’s senior military leadership is likely to deteriorate further,” it added.
— Ted Kemp
Ukraine has taken back nearly 1,200 square miles of land this month, top general says
Ukraine’s forces have reclaimed 3,000 square kilometers (around 1,158 square miles) of Russian-occupied territory already this month and are pushing Russian forces back toward the border with Ukraine, according to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi.
“Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 square kilometers have returned under Ukrainian control,” the top general said on Telegram on Sunday.
“In the Kharkiv direction, we began to advance not only to the south and east, but also to the north,” Zaluzhnyi said, adding that Ukrainian forces are now about 50 km from the Russian border.
— Holly Ellyatt
Ukraine has ‘inflicted a major operational defeat on Russia,’ strategists say
Ukrainian forces “have inflicted a major operational defeat” on Russia, recapturing almost all of the Kharkiv region in a rapid counteroffensive, according to strategists from the Institute for the Study of War.
“The Ukrainian success resulted from skillful campaign design and execution that included efforts to maximize the impact of Western weapons systems such as HIMARS,” the ISW said in its latest assessment of the war in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s forces have been able to recapture dozens of towns and villages in the northeast of the country over the last few days, including the strategically important town of Izyum and lately, Kupiansk. Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the northeast came after its much-vaunted counteroffensive in the south around Kherson saw Russia redeploy troops away from the region to defend areas they occupied in the south.
Service members of the State Security Service of Ukraine pose for a picture in the recently liberated town of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine in this handout picture released Sept. 10, 2022.
Press Service of the State Security Service of Ukraine | Via Reuters
ISW strategists noted that Ukraine’s armed forces had employed HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) and other Western systems to attack Russian ground lines of communication in the regions of both Kharkiv and Kherson, in southern Ukraine, “setting conditions for the success of this operation.”
“Ukrainian leaders discussed the strikes in the south much more ostentatiously, however, successfully confusing the Russians about their intentions in Kharkiv Oblast [province].”
The ISW noted that while Western weapons systems were necessary but not sufficient to secure success for Ukraine, their forces’ “employment of those systems in a well-designed and well-executed campaign has generated the remarkable success of the counter-offensive operations” in the area around Kharkiv.
— Holly Ellyatt
‘Dozens’ of villages and towns liberated around Kharkiv, Ukraine says
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense has hailed several days of successful counterattacks in the area around the city of Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine.
On Twitter Sunday evening, the ministry said the “counteroffensive is ongoing in the Kharkiv region. Dozens of villages and towns have been liberated.”
The Ukrainian military had returned Hoptivka, a village at the Ukrainian-Russian border, to Ukrainian control too, the ministry said, saying it will restore all of Ukraine’s “territorial integrity, including Donbas and Crimea.”
Ukraine launched several counterattacks in northeastern Ukraine last week in a surprise move that caught Russia off guard after it had redeployed many troops to southern Ukraine for a much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.
— Holly Ellyatt