In an address on Saturday evening, it has been revealed that Ukrainian forces have reportedly advanced 1,1558 square miles into the Kharkov region, signalling the first counter-offensive since Russian troops were driven from Kyiv at the beginning of the invasion. President Zelenskky has said that Ukrainian troops had already taken 385 square miles in seven days. Impact’s George Scotland reports.
Russian troops were reportedly outnumbered eight to one as the opposition claimed to have taken twenty villages in the past twenty four hours. Russia’s top occupation official in the region, Vitaly Ganchev, confirmed to state TV that the Ukrainian army had recaptured many north eastern villages and that about ‘5000 civilians had been evacuated to Russia’.
A clean up of the war ravaged city on behalf of the Ukrainian army is under way
According to eyewitnesses it was reported that Russian soldiers had abandoned their artillery and were attempting to disguise themselves as Ukrainian locals in order to evade capture. Petro Kuzyk, a Ukrainian commander on the frontline of the surprise counterattack in the southeast of the region told the Financial Times that’ Russian Soldiers left in such a hurry that meals were still set out when Ukrainian forces arrived’.
Valerii Marchenko, Mayor of Izyum, has said that the Ukrainian army advanced through his city, and the state flag has been raised to signal the end of Russian- held territory since the beginning of the war. Marchenko told the BBC he ‘expects those that fled to the city would be able to return safely in the coming days’ .
A clean up of the war ravaged city on behalf of the Ukrainian army is under way. Reuters and the BBC could not immediately verify the battlefield reports or confirm the figures of recaptured Ukrainian territory. However, Russian authorities have admitted too many losses have occurred in the region.
This counter-offensive coincides with a growing disillusionment from some of the Kremlin’s most established allies
This potentially significant breakthrough in the already six month war comes as state TV made a rare admission on Sunday night that ‘it had been the toughest week so far’. It followed up that ‘it had been particularly tough along the Kharkiv region following an onslaught by enemy forces’ that had outnumbered their troops. They were then forced to leave towns which they claim to have been ‘liberating’. The Russian Defence Ministry also published a map confirming that Russian forces had completely abandoned the region.
This counter-offensive coincides with a growing disillusionment from some of the Kremlin’s most established allies. These include Chechnya leader and one of the biggest supporters of the invasion, Ramzan Kadyrov who has heavily criticised the Russian’s army’s performance following the Kharkiv retreat.
‘It had been particularly tough along the Kharkiv region following an onslaught by enemy forces’
Added to Putin’s anxieties is his long -term Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, who appointed in 1999, was recently side-lined after being reportedly ridiculed by Russian soldiers.
Despite the immediate advances of Ukraine, Russia still controls considerable swathes of Ukrainian territory stretching from Crimea to Lunhask.
For more content including Uni News, Reviews, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.