Kharkov, Ukraine: Ukrainian forces announced Saturday that they had entered Kupiansk in eastern Ukraine, driving Russian forces out of a major logistics hub and recapturing some of the territory, they said. Pro-Russian separatist leaders said fighting in the Donetsk region would be “difficult”, but Moscow said its forces would “regroup” after a clear battlefield in Ukraine was obtained. claimed to have been

Ukrainian special forces have published images on social media showing camouflaged police officers with automatic weapons “in Kupiansk”. It “was and will always belong to Ukraine,” their statement said. The town of about 27,000 people, located on a key supply route for Russian forces in the east, fell in the first week after the Kremlin ordered his invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Observers of the conflict expect Ukrainian forces to announce further gains in the Kharkov region, which borders Russia and has either been controlled by Russia or has been bombarded by artillery for months. Denis Pushlin said that the situation in the town of Lyman in the Donetsk region was “very difficult” and that there were also fighting in “many other areas”, especially in the northern part of the region.

‘Amazing’ progress

There was no official confirmation that Kyiv’s forces also routed Russian forces from Izm, an important staging post in Russia’s war effort with a pre-war population of about 45,000. But images flooding social media appeared to show Ukrainian troops in the city, and Russian observers of the conflict said there had been initial reports that Moscow forces had already withdrawn.

“Ukrainian forces are marching into eastern Ukraine, liberating more cities and villages. Their bravery combined with Western military support has produced surprising results,” said a foreign ministry spokesman. ‘s Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement to social media.

“It is important to keep sending arms to Ukraine. Beating Russia on the battlefield means bringing peace to Ukraine,” he added. His assessment of the pace of progress in Ukraine came after President Volodymyr Zelensky announced late Friday that he had recaptured about 30 towns and villages in the northeastern Kharkiv region as part of a sweep.

The Ukrainian pressure appears to have caught the Russian military largely off guard. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the Russian army was “regrouping” to “achieve the objectives of a special military operation to liberate Donbass.” This comes after Moscow made a surprise announcement on Friday to send reinforcements to Kharkov, with images in state media showing tanks, artillery and support vehicles moving in rows on dirt roads. I’m here.

“That’s horrible”

The occupation of urban hubs like Kupiansk and Izyum would deal a heavy blow to Russia’s ability to effectively resupply positions on the Eastern Front, and could push Russia back out of Kharkov entirely.

In one village occupied by marching Ukrainians, power line towers were knocked down, cables lay on the ground and houses were destroyed, AFP journalists reported. “It was terrifying,” said 61-year-old Anatoly Vasiliev, recalling the fighting earlier this week when Ukrainian forces recaptured the village from the Russians.

“There were bombings and explosions everywhere.” Ukrainian forces are also advancing along parts of the Southern Front, in some areas dozens of kilometers into territory occupied by Russian forces at the start of the invasion. a spokesperson said on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Russian press reported that he had six large explosions in the Russian military-held town of Novakakhovka in the southern Kherson region.

“We support Ukraine”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Beerbock arrived in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday for a surprise visit, which she said was to show Berlin’s support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia. That was a week after she had refused a visit to Berlin where Ukrainian Prime Minister Shmigar repeated Kyiv’s arms demands. She promised to continue “with arms, and humanitarian and financial assistance.”

In recent weeks, Germany has sent an array of weapons to Kyiv to supplement other Western supplies that observers say have undermined Russia’s supply and command capabilities. Mr Beerbock’s visit follows that of Secretary of State Antony Brinken, during which he pledged his nearly $3 billion military package to Ukraine.

In a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, Brinken said that Russia would send reinforcements because Russia would pay “huge costs” to occupy and hold Ukrainian territory. said that it shows that

However, Russian forces were still inflicting heavy damage, shelling the city of Kharkiv and the industrial area of ​​Donbass to the east. Oleg Sinegbov, head of the Kharkiv region, said 14 civilians were wounded by Russian artillery fire. The head of the Donetsk region, part of Donbass, Pablo Kirilenko, said two people were killed in the Russian shelling. – AFP

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