Ukraine makes territorial gains as Russian forces are pushed back in north-east

A counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces has seen them make rapid advances across the north-east, regaining control of towns occupied by Russia since the start of the invasion

Ukrainian soldiers at the frontlines of Kharkiv region (Photo: Twitter)
Ukrainian soldiers at the frontlines of Kharkiv region (Photo: Twitter)

Ukrainian forces have regained control of territory in the north-east of the country after routing out the Russian occupiers in a rapid counter-offensive.

Ukraine has said that it took back control over 3, of territory in the Kharkiv region. This is a major breakthrough in the seven-month war.

The Ukrainian army says it took back 20 villages in the past 24 hours alone, some of which had been occupied by Russian forces since the start of the invasion.

Ukrainian forces have also claimed control of around in the southern Kherson region of the country.

These figures could not be independently confirmed but UK defence officials have said the Ukrainian army's successes will have “significant implications” for Russia's overall operational design.

Vitaly Ganchev, Russia's top occupation official in Ukraine, told Russian TV that Ukrainian forces outnumbered Russians by eight to one in last week’s counter-attack in the Kharkiv region.

A Kremlin spokesperson has said operations in Ukraine would continue “until all the tasks that were initially set” had been fulfilled.

Russia said its forces were carrying out strikes in those areas that Ukraine had retaken recently and the withdrawal was to enable the military to regroup.

Russian forces have targeted Izyum and Kupiansk, which were taken by Ukraine on Saturday.

Ukraine said Russia has been targeting civilian infrastructure in revenge for setbacks on the battlefield. A wave of missile strikes on Sunday caused power cuts across the region.

The blackouts reportedly affected millions of people in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions.

Ihor Terekhov, Kharkiv city mayor, called it a vile and cynical attempt at revenge for the Ukrainian army's recent successes.

Ukraine's Defence Minister, Oleksii Reznikov, said the priority now was to secure the territorial gains made in a week of rapid advances in the Kharkiv region.

The Russian army appears to have abandoned large quantities of equipment and ammunition as it withdrew from areas it had held since the first weeks of the war.