Ukraine pushes Russia to retreat in counter-offensive
Ukrainian forces pushed their counteroffensive into the east of the country on Sunday, exploiting the rapid gains they made in a week of fighting that dramatically changed the tide of the conflict.
Ukraine’s swift action to reclaim Russian-occupied areas in the northeast Kharkiv region forced Moscow to withdraw its troops to prevent them from being surrounded and leaving behind a significant number of weapons and weapons. ammunition in a hasty retreat as the war marked 200 days on Sunday. Cheering Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mocked the Russians in a video address on Saturday evening, saying that “the Russian army these days is doing the best it can – showing its back”. The Russian withdrawal marked the biggest battlefield success for Ukrainian forces since they foiled a Russian attempt to seize the capital, Kyiv, at the start of the nearly seven-month war.
In a clumsy attempt to save face, the Russian Defense Ministry said the withdrawal of troops from Izyum and other areas of the Kharkiv region was aimed at bolstering Russian forces in the neighboring Donetsk region to the south.
The claim resembled the justification given by Russia for withdrawing its forces from the Kyiv region earlier this year when they failed to take the capital.
The group of Russian forces around Izyum played a key role in Moscow’s efforts to seize the Donetsk region, and their withdrawal will now significantly weaken the Russian ability to continue its offensive there.
The retreat drew furious comments from Russian military bloggers, who lamented it as a major defeat and urged the Kremlin to respond by stepping up war efforts. Many have sharply criticized Russian authorities for continuing the fireworks and other lavish festivities in Moscow that marked a city holiday on Saturday despite the debacle in Ukraine.
As Russian forces hurriedly retreated from Izyum under Ukrainian fire, Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed the opening of a huge observation wheel in a Moscow park, a new transport link and of a sports arena. The action underscored the Kremlin’s effort to continue to pretend that the war it calls a “special military operation” was going as planned without affecting the situation in the country. In a sign of potential rift in the Russian leadership, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin “They made mistakes and I think they will draw the necessary conclusions,” Kadyrov said. “If they do not change in the strategy to carry out the special military operation in a day or two , I will be obliged to contact the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the leadership of the country to explain the real situation on the ground.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in televised comments on Saturday that the Russians had been cut off from supply lines and expected more gains.
“It will be like an avalanche,” he said, predicting a Russian retreat. “A line of defense will shake, and it will fall.” Despite Ukraine’s gains, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the NATO chief warned on Friday that the war would likely drag on for months. Blinken said the conflict was entering a critical period and urged Ukraine’s Western backers to maintain support through what could be a difficult winter.
In another major development on Sunday, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, was reconnected to Ukraine’s power grid, allowing engineers to shut down its last operational reactor in an attempt to avert a radioactive disaster as the fighting rage in the region.
For several days, the plant operated in “island mode” with only one of its six reactors running to power cooling systems and other crucial equipment.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)