Russia pulls back troops from Kharkiv region as Kyiv forces advance further

Published September 12, 2022
This handout photograph  released by the press service of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on September 11 shows Ukrainian soldiers loading an abandoned Russian military vehicule on a trailer during the Ukarinian Army counter-offensive in Kharkiv region. — AFP
This handout photograph released by the press service of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on September 11 shows Ukrainian soldiers loading an abandoned Russian military vehicule on a trailer during the Ukarinian Army counter-offensive in Kharkiv region. — AFP

KHARKIV: Russia said it was pulling back troops from the eastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine as Kyiv announced massive territorial gains in its lightning counter-offensive.

A Moscow-backed separatist leader in the east meanwhile said Russian forces were fighting “difficult” battles against Kyiv’s troops in several parts of eastern Donetsk region.

A Ukrainian official also said Kyiv’s troops were closing in on the eastern city of Lysychansk, captured by Russian troops after fierce artillery battles in July.

Moscow’s announcement late on Saturday of the pullback alongside Kyiv’s claim to have entered the town of Kupiansk are the most significant shifts in battlefield dynamics after months of fighting in eastern Ukraine that has been dominated by Moscow.

“A decision was made to regroup Russian troops stationed in the Balakliya and Izyum regions to bolster efforts along the Donetsk front,” Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement.

News of the drawdown came just after Ukrainian special forces published images on social media showing camouflage-clad officers with automatic weapons “in Kupiansk”, a town of about 27,000 people.

Ukrainian troops had also liberated Vasylenkovo and Artemivka in Kharkiv region, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on Saturday.

Separately speaking to the annual Yalta European Strategy forum, Zelensky said Russia “is doing everything to break the resistance of Ukraine, Europe and the world during the 90 days of this (coming) winter”, counting on an eventual weakening of Western support for Kyiv due to rising energy prices and heating problems.

“It’s their final argument,” he said.

There was no official confirmation that Kyiv’s troops had also routed Russian forces from Izyum -- an important staging ground for Moscow’s war effort with a population of around 45,000 people before the invasion.

But images flooding social media appeared to show Ukrainian forces within the city and Russian observers of the conflict said there were initial reports Moscow’s army had already withdrawn.

“Ukrainian troops are advancing in eastern Ukraine, liberating more cities and villages. Their courage coupled with Western military support brings astonishing results,” said foreign ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Budget and politics
Updated 14 Jun, 2024

Budget and politics

PML-N, scared of taking bold steps lest it loses whatever little public support it has, has left its traditional support — traders — virtually untouched.
New talks?
14 Jun, 2024

New talks?

WILL this prove another false start, or may we expect a more sincere effort this time? Reference is made to the...
A non-starter
14 Jun, 2024

A non-starter

WHILE the UN Security Council had earlier this week adopted a US-backed resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza...
Budget for stabilisation
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Budget for stabilisation

The proposed steps lack any “disruptive policy changes", especially to "right-size" the govt, and doubts remain on authorities' ability to enforce new measures.
State of the economy
13 Jun, 2024

State of the economy

THE current fiscal year is but another year lost. Going by the new Pakistan Economic Survey, which maps the state of...
Unyielding onslaught
Updated 13 Jun, 2024

Unyielding onslaught

SEVEN soldiers paid the ultimate price in Lakki Marwat on Sunday when their vehicle was blown up in an IED attack,...