Lviv, Ukraine, Sep 11 (EFE).- Ukrainian forces have recaptured over 3,000 square kilometers in a speedy counter-offensive in north-eastern Ukraine, as Russian forces continue to retreat in the northern Kharkiv region, Kyiv military authorities said Sunday.
The Ukrainian flag was raised in the town of Kosaja Lopan, just 4 kilometers from the border with Russia, according to local media.
“The Armed Forces continue to liberate Russian-occupied territories. Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 square kilometers have been returned to Ukraine’s control,” Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Armed Forces was quoted as saying by Ukrinform, a Ukrainian news outlet.
“In the Kharkiv direction, we started advancing not only to the south and east, but also to the north. There are 50 km left to reach the state border,” Zaluzhnyi added.
The army chief added that Ukrainian forces had recaptured the villages of Bairak, Nova Husarivka, Shchurivka, and Vilkhuvatka.
On Saturday, Russia said it had pulled its forces from southern Kharkiv, around Izyum, saying the maneuver was conducted to regroup and reinforce its position in Donetsk.
However, many experts have pointed out that this was not a strategic withdrawal, but rather a hasty retreat to avoid encirclement as Russian soldiers fled amid Ukraine’s swift gains in the region.
According to the Institute for the Study of the War (ISW) “in the past five days since September 6, (Ukraine has recaptured) more territory than Russian forces have captured in all their operations since April.”
According to Ukrainian authorities, not all Russian troops have managed to leave the Kharkiv region and motorized units remain isolated from all supplies. EFE