Russia is said to have moved its Guards Tank Army to southern Ukraine. Kyiv then responded with a double counter-offensive. “Ours are putting the pressure on,” said a security adviser. Kyiv has officially admitted rocket attacks on Crimea for the first time. You can find all the latest news about the war in Ukraine in the ticker.
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 exposed 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 (…)”, the British experts said. 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.” Officially, the events are not commented on because of an information block. 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 parts of the Russian elite tank army have been deployed to southern Ukraine for the first time. 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, really putting pressure on them,” 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.
9:34 p.m .: According to the Kiev general staff, the Russian army again fired artillery and fighter planes at dozens of locations in Donbass in eastern Ukraine on Monday. The evening report by the Ukrainian military leadership also listed eight places where Russian assaults had been repelled. This included the area around the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, where the Russian advance has been stuck for weeks. However, the military information was not immediately independently verifiable.
According to local authorities, a Russian rocket hit a fuel depot near the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih. The shelling also hit other places in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine. A woman was killed and three were injured.
12:08 p.m .: In the Kherson region, smoke appears to be rising above the Darievsky Bridge. This is reported by the opposition Belarusian information channel Nexta. The bridge is used by the Russian troops to support their troops.
8.40 a.m .: According to British intelligence, the Russian army missed its target in eastern Ukraine. In the daily situation report, the secret service writes: “The political goal of the operation in Donbass remains the complete conquest of the Donetsk region. With this, the Kremlin could announce ‘liberation’. But it is very likely that the Russians have repeatedly missed their deadlines to achieve this to achieve goal.
Furthermore, the Russian offensive in the Donetsk region is progressing very slowly. Putin’s forces are therefore further concentrated on the main axis of Avdiivka (near the city of Donetsk) and 60 kilometers further north around Bakhmut. But the progress here is about one kilometer per week, according to the British.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.