According to British intelligence, Russian troops left behind important, state-of-the-art equipment when they fled Kharkiv. In Luhansk, Ukraine is planning “what Russian troops fear most”. But there is also a warning: Russians are shelling liberated cities. You can find all the latest news about the war in Ukraine here in the ticker.
7:59 a.m .: The Russian armed forces have withdrawn from the Kharkiv region in the past few days, the British Ministry of Defense writes in the daily update on the Ukraine war. Some troops retreated relatively orderly after the Ukrainians had liberated most of the occupied territory. Others have fled “in apparent panic,” according to the London Department, speaking of a “localized breakdown in command and control.”
The armed forces had left behind some high-quality equipment, including at least one Zoopark anti-battery radar and at least one artillery command vehicle IV14. These are “essential” for Russian warfare, it said.
7:25 a.m.: The Russian army is targeting recently liberated locations in the Kherson region. This is what the head of the military administration in the Kherson region, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said according to the Kyiv Independent. The Ukrainian government is therefore recommending that residents leave the places. “Russia continues to attack with missiles,” said Yanushevych. For example, the village of Kniazwtsi, which the Ukrainians recently recaptured, was completely destroyed. Eighty percent of the community of Wysokopilli would have been reduced to rubble by the Russians.
10:52 p.m .: After a Russian attack, the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih is threatened with flooding, according to the government in Kyiv. The attack damaged hydrotechnical infrastructure in the central Ukrainian city and led to a rise in the level of the Inhulets River, said the deputy head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, on Wednesday in the online service Telegram.
According to him, there is a risk of flooding in the city center and in another district of the city of 600,000 inhabitants. So far, the situation is “under control,” Tymoshenko said. Emergency services tried to “eliminate the threat as quickly as possible”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a native of Kryvyi Rih, said Russian forces had attacked hydrotechnical infrastructure to “flood” his hometown. The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentin Resnichenko, said a Russian plane fired seven cruise missiles at the city. The infrastructure was badly damaged.
12:08 p.m .: Russia has ordered the local mobile operator in the Luhansk region to turn off the mobile Internet, says Serhiy Hajdaj, governor in Donbass. In this regard, Russia indicated that “security reasons” were the problem. Hajdaj believes that Russian forces wanted to ensure that nothing “threatening” was happening in the area.
10:58: According to Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko, five civilians were killed and 16 others injured in Russian attacks on the city of Bakhmut. Kyrylenko expects more victims in Mariupol and Volnowacha. However, he could not give exact figures.
9:21 a.m .: To support Ukraine, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to travel again to the country attacked by Russia. She will travel to Kyiv this Wednesday for talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyj, the German politician said on Wednesday in the Strasbourg European Parliament. Work must be done to ensure that Ukraine has access to the European internal market and vice versa.
“Our single market is one of Europe’s greatest success stories. Now it’s time to make it a success story for our Ukrainian friends as well,” said von der Leyen.
It would be von der Leyen’s third trip to Ukraine since Russia attacked the country on February 24. In April she visited the Kiev suburb of Bucha, where war crimes had recently come to light. In June, she spoke to Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv about outstanding issues in Ukraine’s EU application. In the meantime, the 27 EU states have granted Ukraine the status of an EU candidate.
08:39: Ukrainian troops are advancing in Luhansk. Presidential adviser Arestovych announced on Wednesday that the breakaway province is to be completely reconquered. “There is now an attack on Lyman and there could be an advance on Siwersk,” he says in a video posted on YouTube. He also assumes that there will be a bitter battle for the town of Swatwo, where a supply depot for Russian troops is said to be located.
The plan is also to do “what they (the Russians) fear most,” says Arestovych. “That we take Lyman and then advance to Lysychansk and Sievarodonetsk. Then they would be cut off from Swatowo.”
Denis Puschilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, denies that the situation for Russian and pro-Russian troops is getting worse. In a video, he explained that Lyman was still in the hands of the separatists. “The situation has stabilized. The enemy, of course, is trying to advance in small groups, but the (Russian-led) Allied forces are completely repelling them.” This information cannot be independently verified.
5:16 a.m .: As an example of the desired normalization of life in recaptured areas, Selenskyj mentioned in his video speech that pensions had been paid out again for the first time in the liberated city of Balaklija in the Kharkiv region – retrospectively for five months. “During the occupation, we could not make any payments.” Ukraine will fulfill its social obligations, the president promised.
Zelenskyy’s other tasks in the area included searching for scattered Russian soldiers and sabotage groups, and arresting collaborators. Security in the liberated parts of the country must be guaranteed.
Wednesday, September 14, 5:11 a.m.: News came from Balaklija that Russian forces are said to have maintained a torture prison in the local police station. During the occupation, which lasted several months, around 40 people were locked up in the basement, senior Ukrainian police officer Serhiy Bolvinov reported after an on-site visit.
“The occupiers took away those who served in the military or had relatives there, and also looked for those who helped the army,” wrote the head of the investigative department at the Kharkiv police force on Facebook. According to witnesses, prisoners were tortured with electric shocks. Reporters from the BBC and other foreign media confirmed the information. They also reported corpses found in Balaklija. There were also unverified reports of bodies being found from other places in the region.
After the withdrawal of Russian troops from Bucha and other suburbs of Kyiv at the end of March, hundreds of dead civilians were discovered there. Despite overwhelming evidence, Moscow denied that Russian soldiers were responsible for the killings and spoke of a Ukrainian staging. Ukraine is gathering evidence of alleged war crimes by the Russian army with international help.
Deputy Interior Minister Jenin spoke of 40 suspected cases in the Kharkiv region. “The occupiers were in this area for a long time and of course did everything possible to cover up the traces of their crimes,” he said, according to the ministry. Everything must be done to secure evidence.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.