The Russians are said to have fled from the city of Kreminna. “They all ran away,” says the Ukrainian military governor. In Luhansk, Ukraine is planning “what Russian troops fear most”. You can find all the latest news about the war in Ukraine here in the ticker.
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 several months of occupation, 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.
10:25 p.m .: In view of Ukraine’s military successes, the US government sees a new dynamic in the war with Russia. “I think what you’re seeing is certainly a shift, a momentum in Ukraine’s armed forces, particularly in the north,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said in Washington on Tuesday. However, he wants to leave it up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to decide whether a turning point has actually been reached.
“I don’t want to speak for the foreign military, but I mean, in the north we saw the Russians evacuate their defensive positions and retreat,” Kirby said. The Russians would have abandoned their fighting positions and left their supplies behind. “They call it a repositioning, but it is certain that they retreated in the face of Ukrainian forces clearly on the offensive.” At the same time, Kirby stressed that Russia remains at great military capability.
Referring to the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus, Kirby said it was difficult to talk about a motivation for the conflict to flare up again. Russia is traditionally seen as Armenia’s protecting power in the Caucasus. However, the Russian military is tied down because of the war of aggression in Ukraine that has been going on for six months. It is therefore possible that some leaders think that Russia is busy elsewhere, Kirby said when asked if Azerbaijan was currently taking advantage of this. “But here, too, we should be careful with speculation.”
4:15 p.m .: After the Ukrainian offensive near Kharkiv, the Russian soldiers are said to have fled head over heels from the occupied villages. Olena Matwienko from Zaliznychne, east of Kharkov, told the Washington Post: “They just threw their guns on the ground.”
The resident continued: “They came to our house and took clothes with them, so that the drones could not recognize them by their uniforms,” Matwienko said. “They stole our bikes. Two of them threatened my husband with a gun until he gave them his car keys. All the Russians left behind were wrecked tanks and bullet craters in the streets.
According to Matwienko, the Russians occupied their village for 28 weeks. Half of the soldiers fled a few hours after the Ukrainian offensive was announced. The first Ukrainian liberators should have cleared the streets of civilians who had been shot.
12:52 p.m .: After their defeat in the Kharkiv region, Russian troops are also withdrawing from the first places in the neighboring Luhansk region, according to Ukrainian information. “Today (the small town) of Kreminna is completely empty,” Ukrainian military governor of Luhansk Serhiy Hajday said on Tuesday. “There is no police, no headquarters, no public prosecutor’s office – there is no one left, they all ran away.” Initially, these statements could not be verified independently.
However, Russian military bloggers had already reported on Monday about the storming of the town of Bilohorivka by Ukrainian forces. Bilohorivka is located near Kreminna on the opposite bank of the Seversky Donets River.
10:57 a.m .: In the city of Kharkiv and its surroundings, the power went out again, although the city itself was not shelled at night. “Instead, the enemy fired on Lozova at around 3 a.m., hitting an educational institution directly,” Kharkiv military governor Oleh Synyehubov said Tuesday on his Telegram channel. Pictures show a completely destroyed school building in the small town, which is about 150 kilometers south of Kharkiv.
The authorities justified the blackout in Kharkiv with the shelling of the city the day before. This damaged a reserve line that supplied several towns. However, electricians are already on their way to fix the problems. In Kharkiv, among other things, the subway was shut down due to the power outage.
According to authorities in the region, three civilians have died in the last 24 hours and eight people have been injured. The city of Kupjansk in the east of the Kharkiv region, which had been conquered by the Ukrainians, was also the target of Russian attacks. Images of a downed drone allegedly of Iranian origin were circulating online. This information cannot be verified independently.
Tuesday, September 13, 12:32 a.m.: From observing the enemy across the front, the Kiev general staff reported that Russia was no longer sending newly assembled troops to Ukraine. The reason given was that many volunteers, under the impression of the high number of deaths, refused to be deployed in Ukraine. There was no Russian confirmation of this.
There was also no confirmation from Moscow for a message from the Ukrainian military intelligence service on Sunday. Accordingly, the Russian General Roman Berdnikov responsible for the front near Kharkiv is said to have been replaced by General Alexander Lapin.
11:35 p.m.: The Ukrainian troops are combing the recaptured areas in the east for collaborators of the Russian occupying power. In addition, mines would be cleared, the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Monday evening. He gave no further information on the advance of the Ukrainians, who have largely routed the Russian troops in the Kharkiv region. Photos showed Ukrainian soldiers in Sivatohirsk in the Donetsk region on Monday. There was no confirmation of the capture of the city with an important orthodox monastery.
The General Staff reported fighting on Monday along almost the entire front line in the east. Several attacks by the Russian army were repelled. Its own air force and artillery have destroyed several Russian command points and depots. The military information was not independently verifiable.
11:10 p.m .: The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which was occupied by Russian troops, is again connected to two reserve power lines. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna announced on Monday evening that one line could supply the cooling system for the reactors that were shut down, while the second was in reserve. The sixth and last reactor has been shut down and now requires less electricity for cooling.
Nevertheless, the situation in and around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in the middle of the combat zone remains precarious, said IAEA boss Rafael Grossi according to the announcement. The four main lines have been destroyed and the power plant is not delivering any electricity. “A nuclear safe and secure zone is urgently needed,” he said. He had conducted the first consultations with all those involved.
5:08 p.m .: After the withdrawal of Russian troops from northeastern Ukraine, a Russian representative of the occupied Kharkiv region said on Monday that the Ukrainians were eight times superior to the Russians. This was reported by the agency “Reuters” in the afternoon.
The withdrawal of Russian units from the cities of Izyum and Kupjansk is considered the most drastic loss for Russia since Russian troops pushed back around the capital Kyiv at the beginning of the war. It is also said that Ukraine has conquered other Russian settlements in northern Ukraine and in doing so has partially breached the Russian border. 5,000 civilians were “evacuated” by Russia. The border near the Russian city of Belgorod is currently being closed. The information has not yet been independently verified.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.