Ukraine recaptures towns, villages north of Kharkiv, UK says
The United Kingdom’s defense ministry said on Thursday that Ukrainian forces have recaptured towns and villages north of the city of Kharkiv from Russian forces.
The ministry said in an intelligence update that Ukrainian forces are continuing a counterattack in the region near the Russian border.
“Russia’s prioritisation of operations in the Donbas has left elements deployed in the Kharkiv Oblast vulnerable to the mobile, and highly motivated, Ukrainian counter-attacking force,” the ministry said.
It added that Russian forces have withdrawn units from the area in hopes to reorganize and replenish forces after suffering major losses on the battlefield.
“Once reconstituted, these forces will likely deploy to the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, forming a blocking force to protect the western flank of Russia’s main force concentration and main supply routes for operations in the vicinity of Izium,” officials said.
“The withdrawal of Russian forces from the Kharkiv Oblast is a tacit recognition of Russia’s inability to capture key Ukrainian cities where they expected limited resistance from the population,” the ministry concluded.
The ministry recently noted Russia’s plans to legitimize control in the pro-Moscow region of Kherson, in Ukraine’s south.
On Wednesday, leaders of Kherson said they have made a plea to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the region to become a part of Russia.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February, has killed thousands on both sides and displaced nearly 6 million Ukrainian citizens.
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