Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Tereshchev said on Saturday that the Ukrainian army had expelled the Russians from the city in eastern Ukraine. “The situation is calm now, and the citizens are gradually returning to the city.”
Mayor Ihor Terichov told the BBC that “Russian forces withdrew far beyond the city towards the Russian border.” “There have been no explosions in the city for five days,” the mayor of Kharkov added. It now seemed calm, and the citizens were slowly returning to the city. Eyewitnesses reported that the Russian army is still launching air strikes on villages in the vicinity of Kharkov. For example, a village 6 kilometers north of the city was bombed.
Analysts at the American Research Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said earlier today that Ukraine has retaken Kharkiv. She added that in recent days, the Russian forces had made no attempt to hold out against the Ukrainian forces.
Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine. There has been heavy fighting in the capital since the war broke out in February. It is not known how many civilians and soldiers on both sides have been killed since February. It is feared that the death toll will be high.
This is a sacrifice for the sake of Russian troops, and Kharkiv is not only the second largest city in the country, but also only fifty kilometers from the Russian border. The Ukrainian armed forces prevented the Russians from besieging and capturing the city. Then they drove them out of the city, as they had done before with the Russian forces who were trying to take Kyiv.”
Russia’s focus now will be on an orderly retreat and an attempt to bring Russian soldiers back across the border as quickly as possible.
Ukraine itself also stated that it had regained control of a number of villages north and north-east of Kharkov. An attempt by the Russians to cross the Seversky Donets, a strategically important river southeast of Kharkov, failed.
Analysts say Russia is now targeting Severodonetsk in Donbass, the easternmost city under Ukrainian control. The only question is whether Russia still has enough armed forces for this, according to the institute. “They may not have enough clout to completely encircle the city, but they may still try.”
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