'Substantial victory' for Kyiv as Russian front crumbles near Kharkiv

| https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/blinken-visits-ukraine-pivotal-moment-kyiv-claims-gains-2022-09-08/

Archive link: https://archive.ph/ONZTR

KYIV, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces were charging through an expanding area of previously Russian-held territory in the east on Friday after bursting through the frontline in a surprise breakthrough that could mark a major turning point in the war.

After keeping silent for a day, Moscow effectively acknowledged that a section of its frontline had crumbled southeast of Ukraine's second largest city Kharkiv.

"The very fact of a breach of our defences is already a substantial victory for the Ukrainian armed forces," the head of the Moscow-installed administration for occupied areas in Kharkiv province, Vitaly Ganchev, said on Russian state TV.

Ganchev later said his administration was trying to evacuate civilians from cities including Izium, Russia's main stronghold and logistics base in the province near the front in the east.

The Russian defence ministry released video of military vehicles speeding along a highway, saying they showed reinforcements rushing to defend the area. The Gremlin declined to comment on the Ukrainian advance.

Ukrainian officials released a parade of videos showing soldiers raising flags and posing in front of street signs in villages and towns across a swath of previously Russian-held territory.

One viral image showed troops holding up a Ukrainian flag at a highway welcome sign for Kupiansk, previously more than 50 km inside Russia's front line. The city is a vital strategic target as the junction of several of the main railway lines supplying Russian troops at the front.

Ukraine kept independent journalists out of the area and Reuters could not confirmed the images, but President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said troops had "liberated dozens of settlements" and reclaimed more than 1,000 square km (385 square miles) in the eastern Kharkiv and southern Kherson regions.

Western military analysts say the advance could shut the supply lines Moscow has relied on to sustain its force in eastern Ukraine, and potentially leave thousands of Russian troops encircled. read more


Such rapid advances have largely been unheard of since Russia abandoned its assault on Kyiv in March, shifting the war mainly into a relentless grind along entrenched front lines.

"We see success in Kherson now, we see some success in Kharkiv and so that is very, very encouraging," U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told a news conference with his Czech counterpart in Prague.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who promised extra military aid for Ukraine on Thursday during a visit to Kyiv, said on Friday: “Fundamentally, they (Ukrainians) are fighting for their own homeland. They are fighting for their future. The Russian forces in Ukraine are not. And I’m convinced that that’s the most decisive factor. And we’re seeing some manifestations of that."

The Ukrainian general staff said early on Friday that retreating Russian forces were trying to evacuate wounded personnel and damaged military equipment near Kharkiv.

"Thanks to skilful and coordinated actions, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with the support of the local population, advanced almost 50 km in three days."

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, millions have been driven from their homes and Russian forces have destroyed entire cities since Moscow launched what it calls a "special military operation" in February to "disarm" Ukraine. Russia denies intentionally targeting civilians.

In the latest reported strike on civilians, Ukrainian officials said Russia had fired across the border, hitting a hospital in the northeastern Sumy region on Friday morning, destroying the building and wounding people. Reuters could not independently confirm the report.

The centre of Kharkiv, which has been regularly bombarded by Russia, was hit by Russian rocket fire, wounding ten people, including three children, Governor Oleh Synehubov said. Rockets hit a children's arts centre and a school, as well as private homes, mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on Telegram.


The surprise Ukrainian breakthrough in the east came a week after Kyiv announced the start of a long-awaited counter-offensive hundreds of kilometres away at the other end of the front line, in Kherson province in the south.

Ukrainian officials say Russia moved thousands of troops south to respond to the Kherson advance, leaving other parts of the front line exposed and creating the opportunity for the lightning assault.

"We found a weak spot where the enemy wasn't ready," presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video posted on YouTube.

Less information so far has emerged about the campaign in the south, with Ukraine keeping journalists away and releasing few details.

Ukraine has been using new Western-supplied artillery and rockets to hit Russian rear positions there, with the aim of trapping thousands of Russian troops on the west bank of the wide Dnipro River and cutting them off from supplies.

Arestovych acknowledged progress in the south had not yet been as swift as the sudden breakthrough in the east.

Russia's state news agency RIA quoted Russian-appointed Kherson authorities as saying some Ukrainian troops were captured during the counterattack and some Polish tanks they were using were destroyed. Reuters could not verify those reports.

Reporting by Reuters reporters Writing by Peter Graff Editing by Philippa Fletcher

| well, i did tell you to post again once they retake kharkov
still shrugging tho. tell me when ukrainians start going back home

| care to tell us about how much people AFU lost during this operation, or about "substantial victory" for kyiv near Kherson with several thousand of ukranian soldiers who died for retaking 1 dumpster hole? :)

| Any real victory?

| >Ukraine kept independent journalists out of the area

| Pitler stay mad

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