HomeIndiaRussia announces withdrawal of troops from Kharkiv region of Ukraine

Russia announces withdrawal of troops from Kharkiv region of Ukraine

Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said troops would be regrouped from the Balaklia and Izyum regions to the Donetsk region. Izyum was a major base for the Russian army in the Kharkiv region.

Konashenkov said that the move is being made “to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation to liberate the Donbass”. Ukraine Territories declared by Russia to be sovereign.

The pullback’s claim to focus on Donetsk parallels Russia’s justification for withdrawing its forces from the Kyiv region earlier this year.

What caused this development?

Ukrainian officials on Saturday claimed huge gains in retaliation against Russian forces in the country’s northeast, saying Ukrainian troops cut vital supplies to front-line hotspots.

After several days of apparent progress by Ukraine south of the country’s second largest city, Kharkiv, reports suggest what could become the biggest battlefield success for Ukrainian forces as they nearly thwarted a Russian attempt to seize the capital of Kyiv at the beginning. Had done it. Seven Months War.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko suggested that Ukrainian troops withdraw to Kupiansk, a city along the main supply route to Izyum, a longtime Russian front line and site of heavy artillery and other fighting. focuses on. Nikolenko tweeted a photo showing soldiers from Ukraine’s 92nd Separate Mechanized Battalion, which he said was a government building in Kupiansk, 73 kilometers (45 miles) north of Izium.

The Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU, posted a message hours later that showed its forces in Kupiyansk, further suggesting that it had been confiscated by Ukrainian troops. was. Ukrainian forces did not immediately confirm entry into the city, a railway hub that Russia seized in February after its mayor surrendered to avoid civilian casualties.

Later on Saturday, videos began to circulate on social media, showing Ukrainian forces at a roadside post on the rural outskirts of Izium. A large statue bearing the name of the city can be seen in the footage. Ukrainian forces did not accept the capture of the city.

Earlier on Saturday, the British Defense Ministry told reporters it believed the Ukrainians had advanced 50 kilometers (30 mi) south of Kharkiv, and that Russian forces around Izium were “increasingly isolated- Told”.

“Russian forces were probably taken by surprise. The area was organized only lightly and Ukrainian units have captured or besieged several towns,” the British military said, citing the loss of Kupiyansk Russian supplies in the area. Will affect the lines a lot.

A Washington-based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, similarly noted widespread Ukrainian gains, estimating that Kyiv captured some 2,500 square kilometers (965 sq mi) in its northeastern breakthrough. The institute said it appeared that “the disorganized Russian forces[were]caught up in the rapid Ukrainian advance.” He cited social media images of apparent Russian prisoners confiscated in advance around Izium and surrounding cities.

The same report said that if Ukrainian forces “demolish Russian bases around Izum” north and south of the city, they would break Russian ground lines of communication.

Moscow did not immediately acknowledge or comment on the claims of Ukraine and its Western allies. However, Vladislav Sokolov, the head of the Russian-appointed local administration, said on social media that authorities in Izium had started evacuating residents to Russia.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine comes amid ongoing attacks around Kherson in the south. Analysts suggest that Russia may have taken troops from the east to reinforce around Kherson, giving the Ukrainians an opportunity to attack the weakened front line.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov told Ukrainian television channel that the Russians had no food or fuel for their troops in the area as Kyiv cut off their supply lines.

“It will be like an avalanche,” he said, predicting a Russian withdrawal. “A line of defense will shake and she will fall.”

The Ukrainian military was more circumspect about the reported gains, claiming in its regular update on Saturday that it has taken “more than 1,000 square kilometers” (386 sq mi) from pro-Kremlin forces this week. It said “in some areas, units of defense forces have penetrated enemy defenses up to a depth of 50 kilometres,” matching British assessments, but did not disclose geographic details.

Officials in Kyiv have kept silent for weeks about a retaliatory plan to take back territory Russia acquired at the start of the war, calling on residents to refrain from sharing information on social media.

However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a nightly video address on Friday that Ukrainian troops had recaptured more than 30 settlements in the Kharkiv region since the start of retaliation.

“We are gradually taking control of more settlements, returning the Ukrainian flag and protection for our people,” Zelensky said.

The national flag was hoisted over Balaklia, a city re-occupied by Ukrainian troops, on Thursday after Kharkiv’s Ukrainian governor said he was re-occupied after six months of Russian occupation.

“Balaklia is Ukraine! Today, together with the army, led by the commander of the Ground Forces, Oleksandr Sirsky, we raised the Ukrainian flag,” Governor Oleh Sinihubov wrote on Telegram.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian emergency services reported that a 62-year-old woman was killed in an overnight Russian missile strike in the Kharkiv region. It said his body was buried under the rubble of his house, which was flattened by the strike.

Sinihubov also accused Moscow of looting other residential areas of the region, as well as settlements taken back by Kyiv in its recent advances. He said in a Telegram post that five civilians were hospitalized in Iziam district, while nine others received injuries elsewhere in the region.

In the troubled Donbass region south of Kharkiv, the Ukrainian governor said civilians were killed and wounded overnight by Russian shelling near the city of Bakhmut, a major target of the Russian offensive halted there. Pavlo Kirilenko said on Telegram that two people were killed and two others were injured in Bakhmut and the neighboring village of Yahidne.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock arrived in Kyiv on Saturday on an unannounced visit and said Europe would not tire of helping Ukraine despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to increase pressure by halting energy supplies from EU countries.

Bairbock said Germany would assist Ukraine in finding and removing mines and other unexploded ordnance left by Russian troops in areas where they have been pushed back by Ukrainian forces.

Despite the gains made by Ukraine’s armed forces, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the head of NATO warned on Friday that Ukraine’s fight against Russia was going to drag on for months. Blinken said the war was entering a critical period and urged Western supporters of Ukraine to maintain their support through a difficult winter.

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