Ukrainian forces are carrying out two counter-offensives: on the southern front and on the north-eastern front. It is on the latter that the progress is more significant, pushing the Russian soldiers to withdraw from certain cities.
Launched more than ten days ago, the Ukrainian counter-offensive to recover the territories lost to the Russian army is bearing fruit. According to the Institute for War Studies2500km² have been taken over.
This Saturday, the Ukrainian forces made two announcements: the soldiers recaptured the city of Kupiansk, in the east of the country, and, at the same time, kyiv announced a military advance over “several tens of km” in the southsigns of this progression.
An effective counter-offensive in the northeast
For weeks, Ukrainian officials had announced a planned counterattack in the Kherson region in the south of the country. However this week, the counter-offensive was concentrated in the Kharkiv region in the northeast, taking everyone, including the Russians, by surprise.
This Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that thirty localities had been retaken from Russian forces in this region. “We are bringing back the Ukrainian flag and the protection of all our people everywhere,” he said in a video address.
It is in this region that the Ukrainian soldiers planted their flag in the city of Kupyansk this Saturday. This is an important victory since this city of 27,000 inhabitants is on supply routes for the Russian army. It could significantly affect Russia’s ability to supply and provide logistical support to its positions on the eastern front.
This recovery “could then make it possible to encircle the city of Izioum, where there are at this very moment several thousand Russian soldiers”, explains Matias Arraez, BFMTV special correspondent in kyiv. Izium serves in particular as a launching platform for attacks towards the south, in the Donetsk region.
Russian forces retreat to Donbass
An official installed by the Russians in occupied territory in the Kharkiv region admitted that Moscow troops were on the defensive. “The very fact of breaking through our defenses is already a substantial victory for the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” Vitaly Ganchev told state television, adding that Ukraine’s advance had been “very sharp and swift.” , reports The Guardian.
Faced with the situation, Russia announced on Friday that it had sent reinforcements to the Kharkiv region. This Saturday, it announced that it had “withdrawn” its forces present in the areas of Balakliïa and Izium in order to “regroup” them near Donetsk, further south, “in order to achieve the stated objectives of the military operation Special Liberation of Donbass,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Balakliïa is a city of 30,000 inhabitants, the largest conquered by the forces of kyiv since the beginning of the counter-offensive.
At the same time, the leader of the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) admitted that the situation was “difficult” in the Donetsk region, in the Donbass mining basin, the scene of fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Securing territories and isolating Russian troops
“The Russians have lost the initiative, we must recognize that they are moving towards a fiasco (…), it’s a rather surprising turn”, comments General Jérôme Pellistrandi, defense consultant for BFMTV.
Senior American officials confirm this Ukrainian advance. “We see Ukraine making real and demonstrable progress,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Friday, in remarks reported by The Guardian.
General Jérôme Pellistrandi nevertheless specifies that we must remain cautious. “It does not mean that they will be able to recover all the territories lost since February 24”, he continues, “Their objective is to secure territory before the arrival of winter because it will be more difficult to maneuver at this time”.
According to CNNUkrainian forces seek to attack Russian supply routes, with the aim of cutting off and isolating Russian troops west of the Dnipro River.