The Ukrainian counter-offensive continues to put Russia under pressure. On Saturday there were reports that Ukrainian troops captured the strategically important city of Kupyansk near Kharkiv. You can find all the latest news about the war in Ukraine here in the ticker.
Saturday, September 10, 11:17 a.m.: More than six months after the start of the Russian war of aggression, the Ukrainian counter-offensive in the eastern region of Kharkov apparently continues to gain momentum. Ukrainian media published a photo on Saturday morning that is said to show several soldiers with a Ukrainian flag in the center of the strategically important city of Kupyansk, which has so far been occupied by Russian troops. The Ukrajinska Pravda portal, citing members of the regional and local government, wrote: “The Ukrainian armed forces have liberated Kupjansk.” There was initially no official confirmation from the General Staff.
Because of its direct rail connection to Russia, the small town of Kupjansk is important as a transport hub for supplying the entire Russian troop formation around Izyum in the south-west. As a result of the Ukrainian advance, more than 10,000 Russian soldiers are now threatened with encirclement. Information in social networks that the Russians had already fled Izyum could not be checked at first either.
7.41 p.m .: In view of an ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive, the Russian occupiers say they are evacuating other places in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. First, the towns of Izyum and Kupyansk are to be evacuated, as the head of the military administration deployed by Russia, Vitaly Gantchev, said on Friday, according to the state news agency TASS. The town of Welykyj Burluk is also under fire, where the civilian population is also to be taken to safe places. The Russians had already reported on the evacuation of Kupyansk on Thursday.
After more than half a year of war, the Ukrainian troops recently pushed deep into the rear of the Russian occupying forces in their counter-offensive in the east of the country. On Thursday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the recapture of the district town of Balakliya in the Kharkiv region.
Advances continue to target the city of Kupyansk, which is crossed by several railway and road lines. The small town is therefore considered strategically important for the supply of Russian troops marching towards the Donbass in the north. There are also Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson region in the south.
“The situation is intolerable and it is becoming more and more precarious,” said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi in Vienna. He again called for the cessation of all hostilities and the establishment of a demilitarized zone to prevent a nuclear accident at the nuclear power plant.
The Ukrainian power plant operator is now considering shutting down the last of the six reactor blocks that are still in operation in the large nuclear power plant, Grossi said. Because of the increasing fighting in the area, it is unlikely that the power supply to the nuclear power plant can be restored. Since there is no running water or electricity in Enerhodar, there is also a great risk that there will soon not be enough Ukrainian personnel to operate the plant safely, Grossi warned.
1:15 p.m.: The Russian army is sending armored vehicles and cannons to reinforce the Kharkiv region in northern Ukraine in response to the Ukrainian counteroffensive. This was reported by Russian news agencies on Friday with reference to images from the Ministry of Defense. Moscow-appointed Kharkiv region chief Vitaliy Ganchev said on television there was “violent fighting” near the town of Balakliya, which Ukraine reported on Thursday had recaptured.
According to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukraine is making progress in its ongoing counter-offensive against the Russian attackers. “We’re seeing successes in Kherson now, we’re seeing some successes in Kharkiv – and that’s very, very encouraging,” the ex-general said on Friday on the sidelines of a visit to Prague.
Friday, September 9, 11:17 a.m.: According to the US Denkfabrig Institute of the Study of War (ISW), the Ukrainian successes along the Kharkiv-Izyum line are creating cracks in the Russian information campaign. They are also undermining “trust in the Russian leadership to a degree not seen since a failed Russian river crossing in mid-May,” according to the experts.
At that time, Ukraine carried out an air strike on positions on the Dnieper that was devastating for Russia.
11:55 p.m .: According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian troops have recaptured more than 1000 square kilometers from the Russian invaders since the beginning of September. Selenskyj named this number in his evening video speech on Thursday. “As part of ongoing defensive operations, our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements,” he said without further detail. Earlier in the evening, the president confirmed the capture of the district town of Balakliya in the Kharkiv region. He met his military leadership on Thursday in Kyiv for the second time since the beginning of September.
In their counter-offensives after half a year of war, the Ukrainians are advancing in the Kharkiv region in the east and in the Cherson region in the south. In early June, Zelenskyi said Russia occupied around 125,000 square kilometers of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula. That is about a fifth of the Ukrainian territory.
2:31 p.m .: According to their own statements, the Ukrainian army has recaptured 20 locations around Kharkiv. According to the military leadership, the army managed to penetrate up to 50 kilometers deep into the territory occupied by Russia.
11:37 a.m .: After the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, the Russian occupiers said they brought women and children from the city of Kupyansk, an important transport hub in the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv. “The situation in the city of Kupyansk today is such that we are simply forced to ensure the evacuation of the population – at least women and children – because the city is subject to rocket attacks by Ukrainian military units,” said the head of the Russian-installed military administration , Vitaly Gantchev, according to the state news agency Tass.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi announced “good news from the Kharkiv region”. He himself gave no further details. Meanwhile, reports by Russian war correspondents indicate that the Ukrainian army is said to have advanced about 20 kilometers into Russian territory near the town of Balaklija.
9.55 a.m .: Targeted attacks on river crossings are putting the Russian invasion troops in Ukraine under further pressure, according to British military experts. According to the Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence update in London on Thursday, Ukrainian defenders destroyed a pontoon bridge along a key supply route in the Kherson region of the south of the country. “The systematic precision strikes against vulnerable river crossings are likely to continue to put pressure on the Russian forces (…)”, said the British experts. This is slowing down Moscow’s ability to deploy reserves and supplies of material from the East.
Thursday, September 8, 5:13 a.m.: Despite the joy at the advance of his army, Zelenskyy kept a low profile: “Now is not the time to name this or that settlement to which the Ukrainian flag is returning.” The event will be official not commented on due to an information blackout. Videos and photos from recaptured villages around Balaklija are piling up on social networks. According to Russian correspondent reports, the Ukrainian army is attacking there at a width of 20 to 30 kilometers. According to these sources, the Russian units are under considerable pressure, and some units are threatened with encirclement.
Apparently, there were also gains in the south in the Cherson region. The general staff report from Kyiv on Wednesday named Russian air and artillery attacks on several towns that were previously considered Russian controlled. “Every success of our military in one direction or another changes the situation along the entire front in Ukraine’s favour,” said Zelenskyy.
Presumably under the impression of this offensive, the Russian military administration wants to postpone referendums on the accession of the occupied southern Ukrainian territories to Russia until November 4th. Previously, an appointment in the first half of September was considered the desired date.
5:59 p.m .: After almost a month, Kyiv has committed to attacking several air bases on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia. “It’s about a series of successful rocket attacks on the air bases in Crimea, primarily around the Saki airfield,” wrote Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valeryi Zalushnyi in an article published by the state news agency Ukrinform on Wednesday. Up to ten Russian warplanes were destroyed.
Zalushny did not say which missiles were used. The aim of the attacks is to make it clear to the Russians, even in remote areas, that there is a real war with losses and defeats. Zalushny does not expect the war to end in the current year.
According to him, the Ukrainian armed forces want to expand these attacks in 2023, but this would require new weapon systems from Western partners. Zalushnyj mentioned rockets with a range of up to 300 kilometers for the US Himars rocket launchers. A new meeting of Western supporters on further arms deliveries for Kyiv is planned for Ramstein on Thursday.
Wednesday, September 7th, 8:21 a.m.: The US think tank “Institute for the Study of War” reports that for the first time parts of the Russian elite tank army have been deployed to southern Ukraine. This transfer of Russian forces is believed to have provoked Ukraine’s counter-offensive in Kharkiv on Tuesday, the report said.
Obituaries of Russian soldiers indicate that Russia did not transfer parts of the 147th Artillery Regiment of the Motorized Rifle Division of the 1st Guards Tank Army to the Kherson region until the end of August at the earliest.
Ukrainian security expert Oleksiy Arestovych stated that Ukraine has launched a counter-offensive not only in the east but also in the south. The double attack is intended to tie up Russian reserves and prevent the Russian army from reinforcing one sector of the front at the expense of the other. “Ours are putting pressure on, really putting pressure on,” said Arestovych.
7:29 p.m .: The head of administration in the southern Ukrainian port city of Berdyansk, who is loyal to Russia, was injured in an attack. According to previous reports, a bomb had exploded under the car of city commander Artjom Badrin. Gunfire was also reported in the center of the port city on the Sea of Azov. In recent weeks, several attacks have been carried out on Ukrainian officials who collaborate with the occupying power.
10:44 a.m .: The Ukrainian military claims to have destroyed four Russian ammunition depots in the Kherson region. The southern command of the Ukrainian armed forces said bridges across the Dnieper were also under fire. After little was initially known about the course of the Ukrainian counter-offensive in southern Ukraine, the authorities recently reported progress in the north of the Cherson region. The town of Wyssokopillja is said to have been liberated on Sunday. The hoisted flag should be visible on a photo.
Tuesday, September 6th, 9:31 am: The British Ministry of Defense announces that Russia’s drone inventory is dangerously dwindling. Given the combat losses, it is likely that Putin’s army will have trouble maintaining its inventory of unmanned drones.
The lack of necessary components brought about by Western sanctions exacerbates the difficulties. The limited availability of reconnaissance drones is likely to affect Russian operations.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.