Ukraine Keeps Initiative, Claims It Reached Russian Border

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine saved the counteroffensive momentum in its conflict in opposition to Russia going Monday, saying it liberated one village after one other and claiming that in a single area it pushed the invaders again proper as much as the border in a lightning navy transfer that surprised many.

“In some areas of the front, our defenders reached the state border with the Russian Federation,” stated the regional governor of the northeastern Kharkiv area, Oleh Syniehubov. Russian troops crossed the border within the area on Feb. 24, the primary day of the invasion.

Russia acknowledged the navy developments by saying it was regrouping. As all through the conflict, navy claims have been onerous to confirm independently.

After Sunday’s assaults by Russia on energy stations and different infrastructure that knocked out electrical energy in lots of place throughout Ukraine, Kyiv authorities additionally stated that electrical energy and water provides have been restored to some 80 p.c within the Kharkiv area.

“You are heroes!!!” wrote Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov early within the morning on Telegram, highlighting the ebullient temper within the nation that has endured greater than 200 days of conflict and occupation. “Thanks to everyone who did everything possible on this most difficult night for Kharkiv to normalize the life of the city as soon as possible.”

The Basic Workers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that its troops had liberated greater than 20 settlements inside the previous day.

The buoyant temper was additionally captured by a defiant President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on social media late Sunday, feedback that instantly went viral.

“Do you still think you can intimidate, break us, force us to make concessions? Did you really not understand anything? Don’t understand who we are? What we stand for? What we are talking about,” Zelenskyy exhorted.

“Read my lips,” he continued. “Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst for us are not as scary and deadly as your ‘friendship’ and brotherhood.’”

He added: “We will be with gas, lights, water and food… and WITHOUT you!”

Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters put out the hearth after a Russian rocket assault hit an electrical energy station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 11, 2022.

Kostiantyn Liberov through AP

But even amid the ebullience, the casualties saved mounting. Ukraine’s presidential workplace stated Monday that at the least 4 civilians have been killed and 11 others have been wounded in a collection of Russian assaults in 9 areas of the nation. The U.N. Human Rights Workplace stated final week that 5,767 civilians have been killed to date.

The Russians continued shelling Nikopol throughout the Dnieper from the Zaporizhzhia energy plant, damaging a number of buildings there and leaving Europe’s largest nuclear facility in a precarious place.

The flip of occasions and all-important reversal of initiative was backed up by worldwide observers who warned of dire instances forward for Russian troops. It stood in sharp distinction to the primary days of the conflict when Russian troops have been transferring towards Kyiv’s doorstep.

“In the face of Ukrainian advances, Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River,” the British protection ministry stated Monday, signifying a significant advance by Kyiv. “Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London,” it stated.

The British stated that possible will additional deteriorate the belief Russian forces have of their commanders. Ukraine’s preliminary transfer on the southern Kherson space, drawing the eye of enemy troops there, earlier than pouncing on extra depleted Russian traces within the northeast past Kharkiv has been seen as an ideal navy transfer to date.

Even round Kherson, Russia is struggling to carry forces throughout the Dnipro River to cease the Ukrainian offensive there, the British navy stated.

It added: “The rapid Ukrainian successes have significant implications for Russia’s overall operational design. The majority of the force in Ukraine is highly likely being forced to prioritize emergency defensive actions.”

The Washington-based Institute for the Examine of Struggle stated Monday that Russia possible lacks the reserve forces it must bolster its defenses in Ukraine.

Whereas the conflict possible will stretch into subsequent yr, the institute believes that “Ukraine has turned the tide of this war in its favor” by successfully utilizing Western-supplied weapons just like the long-range HIMARS missile system and robust battlefield ways. “Kyiv will likely increasingly dictate the location and nature of the major fighting.”

In search of to comprise its lack of momentum, Russia fired missiles at energy crops and different important infrastructure, instantly assembly with Ukrainian and U.S. criticism for centering on civilian targets.

The bombardment ignited a large fireplace at an influence station on Kharkiv’s western outskirts and killed at the least one particular person. Zelenskyy denounced the “deliberate and cynical missile strikes” in opposition to civilian targets as acts of terrorism.

“Russia’s apparent response to Ukraine liberating cities and villages in the east: sending missiles to attempt to destroy critical civilian infrastructure,” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink wrote.

Individually, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Energy Plant within the Russia-occupied south fully shut down in a bid to stop a radiation catastrophe as combating raged close by.

Arhirova reported from Kyiv.

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