Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that his country’s forces liberated more than 6,000 square kilometers (2,317 sq miles) of territory in the east and south from Russia in September thus far.
Some military experts believe that Russia’s admission that it lost important cities in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine could be a turning point in the war.
Moscow refers to its recent troop pullout from the area as a “regrouping” with the intention of concentrating on the Luhansk and Donetsk areas in eastern Ukraine.
Even in Russia, where many social media users have mocked Putin’s “regrouping” plan, the purported pullout has been called “shameful.”
Later on Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces has made “significant progress.” However, Blinken cautioned that it was still too early to determine the outcome.
Blinken said, “The Russians maintain very significant forces in Ukraine as well as equipment and arms and munitions. They continue to use it indiscriminately against not just the Ukrainian armed forces but civilians and civilian infrastructure as we’ve seen.”
Russia Still Controls Around Five Percent Of Ukraine
On February 24th, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave orders to invade Ukraine completely. Russia still controls around five percent of the nation.
President Zelensky stated late the following Monday in a video address that “from the beginning of September until today, our warriors have already liberated more than 6,000 sq km of the territory of Ukraine—in the east and south. The movement of our troops continues.”
The counteroffensive seems to have been quick. President Zelensky said on Thursday that Ukrainian forces had retaken one thousand square kilometers, but by Sunday, that number had risen to three thousand square kilometers.
Several Ukrainian brigades that participated in the counteroffensive were thanked by Mr. Zelensky, who called their soldiers “true heroes.” He withheld the names of the liberated Ukrainian towns and villages.
The military of Russia already acknowledged that its troops had had to depart from the important Kharkiv region cities of Balakliya, Izyum, and Kupiansk. Only a small portion of the region’s east is now under Russian control.
Additionally, there have been reports of significant although more gradual advances made by Ukrainian forces in the southern Kherson region, which shares a border with Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula that Russia invaded in 2014.
Ukrainian Army to Have “Significant Implications” for Russian Strategy
According to UK defense authorities, recent victories by the Ukrainian army would have “significant implications” for Russia’s broader military strategy.
Military activities in Ukraine will continue, however, “until all the tasks that were initially set” have been completed, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
In the regions that Ukraine has recently retaken, according to Russia, its forces have begun conducting strikes.
The state flag has been flown, according to Izyum Mayor Valerii Marchenko, who informed the BBC that the Ukrainian army had arrived in his city. In addition to Ukrainian forces looking for Russian soldiers who might be hiding in people’s homes, the military is currently cleaning up the war-torn city.
Residents who had to leave the city, according to Mr. Marchenko, would be allowed to do so “safely” after “about 10 days.” Russia has been charged with attacking civilian infrastructure as payback for war defeats.
Tens of thousands of people were left without electricity and running water for several hours on Sunday as a result of widespread power outages across northern and eastern Ukraine brought on by a series of missile strikes.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 5,514 civilian deaths have been reported by the UN. According to the commander of the Ukrainian military, approximately nine thousand men have perished in the conflict while US intelligence predicts that fifteen thousand Russian soldiers have perished in Ukraine thus far.