Ukrainian forces have advanced north of Kharkiv and are about 50 km from the border with Russia, while advancing both south and east in the same region, Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Gen. Valery Zaluzhnyreported Reuters and France Press.
Zaluzhny wrote on his Telegram profile that since the beginning of this month, Ukrainian forces have regained control of more than 3,000 square km of territory.
“Ukraine continues to liberate territories occupied by Russia”the commander-in-chief also wrote.
He published photos documenting the liberation of villages in the Kharkiv region: Bayrak, Novaya Gusarovka, Shturovka and Olkhovatka.
“The capture of the heavily fortified areas of the Russian troops, which they proudly called “Moscow”, “Omsk” and “Peter”, allowed the counteroffensive to be launched towards Balakleya, Izyum and Kupyansk”Zaluzhny wrote.
On Sunday at noon, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced the liberation of another settlement in the Kharkiv region.
“Another settlement has been liberated! Thanks to the 14th mechanized brigade named after Prince Roman the Great, the Ukrainian flag returned to the village of Chkalovske, Kharkiv region. And it will be like that everywhere. We will expel the invaders from every Ukrainian town and village. Thanks to all our heroes!”.
The Ukrainian army’s advance to the south and east in the Kharkiv region achieved all its objectives in five days. Threatened with a siege, the Russian troops left the city on September 8 Balaclavaand on September 10 — the western part of the city Purchasek, the main rear base of the Russian Ministry of Defense in the region. Also on the night of September 10, Russian forces left the city Raisin, where the headquarters of the entire Russian military group was located there. The Ukrainians liberated dozens of smaller settlements, and in their retreat, the Russians left behind dozens of military equipment – both destroyed and usable, as well as tons of ammunition.
So the Russian army has lost in this area everything it has captured with great efforts since March 2022. Now it has no opportunity to launch a new offensive towards Donbass from the north.
ISW: In 5 days, the Ukrainians liberated more territory than the Russians captured in April
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) writes in its daily report that in the course of the counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region launched at the beginning of September, in some places the Ukrainian troops achieved a breakthrough up to 70 kilometers deep.
For the past five days – since September 6 – the Ukrainian army has liberated more territory in Ukraine than the Russian forces have captured in all their operations since the beginning of April, experts say.
According to ISW estimates, there is no controlled withdrawal of Russian troops, who rather urgently leave the southeastern part of the Kharkiv region to avoid a siege in Izyum.
The liberation of Izyum would prevent the Russian advance into the northwestern part of the Donetsk region along the E40 route, which the Russian military tried to use to bypass Ukrainian positions along the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk line.
If Russian troops fleeing Izyum were to be surrounded, it would mean the destruction or capture of significant Russian forces and would compound their army’s problems, including manpower and morale. Russian military correspondents and bloggers have also reported problems with the evacuation from Izyum, indicating that Ukrainian troops are at least partially closing the loop in some areas.
The Ukrainians “tricked” Russia into Kherson to attack Kharkiv
The Ukrainian counterattack, which began in the last days of August, was initially concentrated in the southern region of Kherson, captured by the Russians in the first days of the invasion. Moscow directed serious military forces and attention in Kherson to repel the Ukrainians, who, however, launched another, much more effective offensive in the Kharkiv region, writes the Associated Press.
Faced with the prospect of its troops being surrounded, Russia ordered a withdrawal from Kharkiv Oblast.
The Ukrainian counter-offensive in the north-eastern part of the country inflicted an extraordinary defeat on Moscow, which, after a series of combat losses, was forced to withdraw thousands of its military personnel from the Kharkiv region.
Ukraine has apparently regained control in two key cities – Kupyansk and Izyum – in the course of the great counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region in recent days after misled Russian forces with a much-publicized Ukrainian southern offensive toward Kherson to distract Russia from the real one being prepared in Kharkiv.
On August 29, the Ukrainian army announced that it was launching a counteroffensive in the occupied Kherson region. The same day, the Russian Defense Ministry said that this counteroffensive had failed “with a bang”. In early September, Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region and in a matter of days liberated more than 30 towns and villages that had been under Russian occupation since the spring.
Photos released by Ukrainian forces show soldiers raising the national flag in Kupyansk, which is an important logistical hub for Russian forces in the region and where railway lines connect Russia to eastern Ukraine. It was through this hub that Russia supplied its troops in northeastern Ukraine in recent months.
The Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed the withdrawal of its troops from Izyum, which is the most important base of Russian forces in the Kharkiv region. Russia claims that its troops are not fleeing, but are “regrouping” to focus their efforts on Donetsk. The recapture of Izyum is probably the most significant success of Ukrainian forces since the start of the war so far in their attempt to repel Russian troops.
The British Ministry of Defense commented that the Russians were most likely surprised by the Kharkov counteroffensive. The Ukrainian army’s much-publicized counteroffensive in the south was actually a disinformation campaign aimed at distracting Russia from its real target, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian special forces said. “[Русия] he thought it would be south and moved his equipment on. Then, instead of going south, the offensive happened where they least expected it, causing them to panic and run.” he said Taras Berezovets, former national security adviser and now in the press office of the Bohun brigade of the Ukrainian special forces.
The spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Igor Konashenkov, said on Sunday that from September 6 to 10, during its offensive in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, the Ukrainian army lost 4,000 soldiers who were killed, and another 8,000 wounded.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated on Saturday late evening that in two days the Ukrainian forces liberated a territory of nearly one thousand square km, and since the beginning of the month – two thousand square km, UNIAN agency reported.
In his video message last night, he noted: “These days, the Russian army is showing its best – showing its back. And after all, it’s not a bad choice for them to run. There is and will be no place for the occupiers in Ukraine.”
The head of state specifically mentioned the merits of the 15th Slavic Regiment of the National Guard, which distinguished itself in the Kharkiv direction, and the soldiers of the 214th separate rifle battalion.
Zelensky repeated his appeal to Russian soldiers who “they do not want to return to the Russian Federation”, to be handed over in captivity on guarantee to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions.
The Russian Ministry of Defense is no longer talking about a “regrouping” of troops
On September 11, the Russian Ministry of Defense said nothing about the withdrawal of its troops from the Kharkiv region. A day ago the department announced that “over the course of three days, an operation was carried out to shrink and transfer raisin– the Balaklei group of troops on the territory of the DNR”.
On September 11, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that Russian forces were “carrying out precision strikes on units and reserves of the Ukrainian special forces in the Kharkiv region.”
There is no longer any talk of regrouping and redeploying troops.
The Russian Defense Ministry also says that Ukrainian forces probably “intend to shell energy infrastructures” in Russian-occupied territories. There is talk of strikes by ten transformer substations in the region of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and in Donetsk, as a result of which the population of these territories was left without electricity.
The Russians are sending “10 B class” to the front
Retreating from the Kharkiv region, the Russians lost soldiers captured in the course of the rapid Ukrainian counter-offensive. Some of the captives are yesterday’s conscripts. The BBC quoted an interrogation of captured Russian soldiers who said that they were from the Kaliningrad region, that they were under 20 years old, that they did not know that they were going to war and that their parents were waiting for them at home.
For understandable reasons, the Russian Ministry of Defense does not announce which units are fighting on different sections of the front.
Reporting on the new prisoners of war, Ukrainian social networks joke that the Russian side has sent “10 B class” to the front, as many of the soldiers are very young, born in 2000-2002. This may be a sign of depleted Russian army resources in the Kharkiv area, and also that the Ukrainians have diverted more substantial Russian forces south to defend Kherson.
In the first days, the Russian military telegram channels began to explain the successes of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region with the fact that the front line there is mainly held by mobilized by the self-proclaimed DNR and LRN, but in Balakleya, Rosgvardiya fighters from Bashkortostan and Samara found themselves surrounded.
But in the course of the Ukrainian offensive, it became clear that they also attacked positions of regular Russian servicemen. At one of the positions abandoned by the Russians, for example, documents of Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Barar were found. In 2020, while he was still a major, he commanded the Ussuri paratroopers at the victory parade, and in 2021, when he commented to the REN-TV television on the exercises that the Russian military was conducting for their Syrian colleagues, he was titled as representative of the Armed Forces of Russia in Syria.
Russian missile strikes
On the night of Sunday, Russian troops launched rocket attacks against Pokrovsk. So far, it is known about four dead and six injured, the head of the city, Ruslan Trebushkin, announced. According to his information, the Russians launched five strikes with Iskander missiles. As a result, more than 20 residential buildings were damaged, as well as railway infrastructure.
During the night there was also shelling against cities in Donbas – Kramatorsk, Avdeevka, Marinka, Krasnogorovka, Toretsk. In the last 24 hours, 10 people died in this area, 19 were injured.
There was also rocket fire in the Kharkiv region, reports the local administration.
In strikes against private homes and public infrastructure in two districts of Kharkiv, three people were injured, one died.
Stay tuned for details