Russia’s loss of key Ukrainian city could prove to be a turning point in the war – Flying Journals

Ukrainian leaders announce Russian withdrawal. (document)


On Saturday, Moscow abandoned its main fortress in northeastern Ukraine, and one of the war’s main fronts abruptly collapsed after Ukrainian troops advanced rapidly.

The rapid fall of Izium in Kharkiv province was Moscow’s worst defeat since troops were forced to withdraw from the capital Kyiv in March. It could be a decisive turning point in the six-month war, with thousands of Russian soldiers abandoning their ammunition stocks and equipment as they fled.

Russian forces have used Izium as a logistical base for one of their main campaigns – a months-long offensive from the north into the adjacent Donbas region, which consists of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The state-run TASS news agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying it had ordered troops to leave nearby areas and intensify operations elsewhere in neighboring Donetsk.

The head of the Russian government in Kharkiv told residents to evacuate the province and flee to Russia to “save lives,” TASS reported. Witnesses described traffic jams as people left Russian-held territory.

Ukrainian leaders announce Russian withdrawal.

“These days, the Russian army is showing the best of what it can – showing its back,” Russian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address Saturday night.

Since launching a counteroffensive against Russia earlier this month, Ukraine’s armed forces have liberated about 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) of territory, he said.

Ukrainian officials did not confirm they had retaken Izium, but Zelensky’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak posted a photo of the army on its outskirts and tweeted it A grape emoji. The city’s name means “raisin”.

“The Russian army is taking the title of fastest army in the world… keep running!” Yermak later tweeted.

Hours after Russia announced its withdrawal, Ukrainian troops occupied the city of Kupiansk further north, the only rail hub supplying Russia’s entire northeastern Ukraine front. Earlier Saturday, Ukrainian officials posted photos of their troops raising the country’s blue-and-yellow flag in front of Kupiansk city hall.

This has resulted in thousands of Russian troops suddenly cutting off supplies to the front, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

Russia has also had trouble elsewhere in its remaining positions on the Eastern Front, and pro-Russian officials have acknowledged difficulties elsewhere.

Zelensky said the Ukrainian armed forces were continuing to advance in different areas along the front.

mechanized assault

Kyiv’s forces broke through the front a few days ago and have since recaptured dozens of towns and villages in swift mechanized assaults, advancing tens of kilometers (miles) a day.

“In order to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation to liberate the Donbass, it was decided to regroup the Russian troops in the Baraklia and Izium regions to intensify efforts in the direction of Donetsk,” TASS quoted the Russian Ministry of Defense as saying. .”As mentioned.

The Russian army had already abandoned Baraklia a few days ago.

Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Malyar, issued a warning urging people not to prematurely report towns as “occupied” just because Ukrainian troops entered, as Baraklya did.

“A few days ago, there were reports that the army had entered the city. Today we finally established control in the city, carried out all the necessary activities and raised the flag,” she said.

In Hrakov, one of dozens of villages recaptured in the Ukrainian advance, Reuters saw burned vehicles bearing the “Z” symbol of the Russian invasion. Ammunition boxes and junk were strewn in places the Russians had apparently hastily abandoned.

“Hello everyone, we’re from Russia,” was sprayed on the wall. Three bodies lay in white body bags in the yard.

Regional police chief Volodymyr Tymoshenko said Ukrainian police moved the previous day and checked the identities of local residents who have been living under Russian occupation since the second day of the invasion.

“The first function is to provide the help they need. The next job is to document the crimes committed by the Russian invaders in the territories they temporarily occupied,” he said.

“Russia is retreating”

A witness in Valuiki, a small town in Russia’s Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border, told Reuters she saw the Kupiansk family eating and sleeping on the road.

“I saw a lot of Kupiansk people at the bazaar today. They said that half of the city is occupied by Ukrainian troops and that Russia is retreating… The battle is getting closer,” the witness said.

Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said officials were delivering food and medical assistance to people queuing at border crossings into Russia. Senator Andrey Turchak, from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, reported more than 400 cars on the border.

Russian rockets hit the city of Kharkiv Saturday night, killing at least one person and damaging several houses, Ukrainian officials said, as part of a surge in shelling since the Kyiv counteroffensive.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the Battlefield account.

Russia’s abrupt abandonment of the front south of the city of Kharkov ended a period in which the war was fought relentlessly on a static front in favor of Moscow’s advantage in raw firepower.

(Apart from the title, this story was unedited by NDTV staff and was posted from a syndicated feed.)

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