Ukraine claims more territorial gains

September 13, 2022 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - KHARKIV

Kyiv says troops pushed Russians out of more villages in Kharkiv and reached the border

Frontline column:Ukrainian Army tanks during an offensive at an undisclosed location.AFPHANDOUT

Frontline column:Ukrainian Army tanks during an offensive at an undisclosed location.AFPHANDOUT

Ukraine claimed on Monday that it took several more villages, pushing Russian forces right back to the northeastern border, part of a lightning counteroffensive that forced Moscow to withdraw troops from some areas in recent days.

After months of little discernible movement on the battlefield, Kyiv’s sudden momentum has lifted Ukrainian morale and provoked outrage in Russia and even some rare public criticism of President Vladimir Putin’s war. As Ukrainian flags began to flutter over one city emerging from Russian occupation, a local leader alleged that the Kremlin’s troops had committed atrocities against civilians there similar to those in other places seized by Moscow.

“In some areas of the front, our defenders reached the state border with the Russian Federation,” said Oleh Syniehubov, the Governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region. Over the weekend, the Russian Defence Ministry said troops would be pulled from two areas in that region to regroup in the eastern region of Donetsk.

More fighting

It was not yet clear if Ukraine’s latest blitz could signal a turning point in the war — though some analysts suggested it might be while also cautioning there would likely be months more fighting. Momentum has switched back and forth before.

Still, the mood was jubilant across the country.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Monday that its troops had liberated more than 20 settlements in the last 24 hours. In Kharkiv, authorities hailed some return to normalcy, noting that power and water had been restored to about 80% of the region’s population following Russian attacks on infrastructure that knocked out electricity in many places.

“You are heroes!!!” wrote Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov early in the morning on Telegram, referring to those restoring utilities. “Thanks to everyone who did everything possible on this most difficult night for Kharkiv to normalize the life of the city as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, in Russia, there were some signs of disarray as Russian military bloggers and patriotic commentators chastised the Kremlin for failing to mobilise more forces and take stronger action against Ukraine.

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