Ukrainian soldiers in front of the sign for the key town of Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine, September 9, 2022
Source: Institute for the Study of War
UPDATE 1747 GMT:
Russian rockets on Kharkiv city killed at least one civilian and wounded two on Saturday.<
Several homes were damaged in the western suburb of Kholodnohirsk by a Russian multiple rocket launch system.
UPDATE 1720 GMT:
Ukraine forces inspect a Russian tank captured in the Kharkiv counter-offensive:
UPDATE 1606 GMT:
The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed the retreat of its forces from Izyum and Balakliia.
The Ministry said officials decided to “regroup the Russian troops stationed in the Balakliya and Izyum regions” so they could “step up efforts in Donetsk…[to] “achieve the stated goals of the special military operation” and “liberate” the Donbas region.
The Ministry insisted that the withdrawal was carefully designed with “distraction and demonstration events” to disguise the “real actions of the troops”.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces raise the national flag in Balakliia:
Syrski, commander of Ukrainian ground forces, runs Ukrainian flag-raising ceremony in Balakliia (vid via Vertikal telegram channel). Amazing. pic.twitter.com/qrKrazFqoE
— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) September 10, 2022
UPDATE 1136 GMT:
Vladimir Putin has not commented publicly on Ukraine’s rapid advance in the northeast.
Instead he has been featured voting online in local elections and congratulating Moscow residents on City Day: “Moscow is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful and comfortable cities in the world.”
Ukraine’s remarkable Kharkiv Surprise offensive continues this morning with the reported capture of strategically vital transport hub Kupiansk. Slava Ukraini! #KharkivSurprise pic.twitter.com/qKSjLnx6m7
— Business Ukraine mag (@Biz_Ukraine_Mag) September 10, 2022
UPDATE 1108 GMT:
Journalist Christo Grozev reports, “Now official, as even mainstream war correspondents announce through tear the surrender of Izyum and Kypyansk.”
He summarises the chatter on Russian Telegram channels:
“Izyum has been surrendered… and this sadly is not the end.”
Desperation steadily seeping in and replacing the “small setback but let’s not despair” mood of yesterday.
UPDATE 0901 GMT:
Reports are circulating, including on Russian Telegram channels, that Russia’s forces have fled Izyum, abandoning equipment.
Izyum is the launch site for Russia’s offensive in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
Video of Ukrainian troops entering Kupiansk early in the morning without fighting
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) September 10, 2022
UPDATE 0851 GMT:
The UN has found “torture and ill-treatment” of Ukrainian prisoners of war by Russian forces.
Matilda Bogner, the head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, said on Friday:
We have documented that prisoners of war in the power of the Russian Federation and held by the Russian Federation’s armed forces or by affiliated armed groups have suffered torture and ill-treatment.
Detainees have been deprived of adequate food, water, healthcare, and sanitation. In Olenivka — a prison where Russia and/or its proxies carried out an explosion killing 57 Ukrainians POWs — the prisoners were “suffering from infectious diseases, including hepatitis A and tuberculosis”.
While the UN team was granted “unimpeded access” to places of internment controlled by the Ukrainian Government, Russia “has not provided access to prisoners of war held on its territory or in territory under its occupation”.
Bogner said the UN has corroborated at least 5,767 civilian deaths and 8,292 civilians injured, but actual numbers are “likely considerably higher”.
UPDATE 0720 GMT:
The US-based Institute for the Study of War estimates that Ukrainian forces have reclaimed 2,500 square km (965 square miles) in the Kharkiv counter-offensive in the northeast.
On Thursday night, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy estimated the advance at 1,000 square km.
The ISW says Ukraine’s troop are on the southern approach to Kupyansk (see Original Entry) and “likely clearing pockets of disorganized Russian forces caught in the rapid Ukrainian advance to Kupyansk, Izyum, and the Oskil River”.
The analysts see the possibility of even greater gains:
Ukrainian forces may collapse Russian positions around Izyum if they sever Russian ground lines of communication north and south of Izyum….
If Ukrainians are successful in severing the Russian GLOCs, then they will have an opportunity to create a cauldron around Izyum and collapse a major portion of the Russian positions in northeastern Ukraine.
The ISW notes that while the Kremlin has been silent about Ukraine’s advance, Vladimir Putin convened a meeting with top Russian security and political officials on Friday.
UK military intelligence supports the assessment, estimating that Ukrainian troops have advanced 50 km (31 miles) along a narrow frontline.
So — Russia’s most vital ground line of communications between its home territory and Ukraine’s Izium has been severed.
Russia’s Izium group rendering pressure upon northern Donbas (Slovyansk, Kramatorsk etc) is absolutely fucked.
— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) September 10, 2022
— Veli-Pekka Kivimäki (@vpkivimaki) September 9, 2022
UPDATE 0707 GMT:
Recognizing the significance of Turkish-made drones in Ukraine’s resistance and now counter-attack, President Voldoymyr Zelenskiy has presented the Order of Merit to Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of the Turkish company Baikar.
The Bayraktar TB2 drones have been credited with giving Ukraine a significant battlefield advantage. Russia has had to turn to Iran for UAVs in an attempt to counter Kyiv.
Zelenskiy said to Bayraktar in the ceremony: “Everyone in Ukraine knows what Bayraktar is, knows your company. Thank you, thank you to [Turkish] President Erdoğan for your support and the support of Turkish citizens in this war against Russian aggression.
UPDATE 0654 GMT:
European Union Finance Ministers have endorsed a €5bn ($5bn) loan for Ukraine to maintain public services including hospitals and schools.
The loan is part of a €9bn package announced in May. The first €1bn was sent in early August. Czech Finance Minister Zbynek Stanjura said upcoming meetings will decide how the other €3bn will be split into loans or grants.
Ministers also discussed the funding of Ukraine’s reconstruction in the long term.
Russia’s invasion caused almost $100 billion in damages through June 1, according to a report by the World Bank, the Ukrainian Government, and the European Commission. Reconstruction may cost almost $350 billion.
UPDATE 0648 GMT:
Ukraine’s Health Ministry says Russian attacks have destroyed 127 medical facilities and damaged 865 since the start of Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
The Ministry said 62 damaged facilities have been repaired.
Russian forces reportedly struck another hospital, in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine, on Friday.
UPDATE 0638 GMT:
Another video from the Ukrainian advance in the northeast — troops perform the national anthem before embarking on operations:
We’ve seen things like this in movies. But now it’s Ukrainian army liberating 🇺🇦 land pic.twitter.com/gQTxzLuTYP
— Iryna Matviyishyn (@IMatviyishyn) September 10, 2022
UPDATE 0631 GMT:
The International Atomic Energy Agency has reiterated its concern over a possible disaster at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine.
IAEA head Rafael Grossi said on Friday that a safety zone must be immediately established. He noted that, after recent shelling, there is minimal chance of re-establishing reliable offsite power lines to the plant.
Grossi echoed the statements of Ukrainian officials that they might shut down the only operating reactor among the six at the complex, Europe’s largest.
This is an unsustainable situation and is becoming increasingly precarious. Enerhodar [the town nearest the plant] has gone dark. The power plant has no offsite power. And we have seen that once infrastructure is repaired, it is damaged once again.
ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukrainian forces have advanced further in their four-day counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine, capturing one key Russian position and approaching another.
After reclaiming Balakliia, Ukrainian troops reached the outskirts of Kupyansk on Friday. Both towns were hubs for Russia between Kharkiv and Izyum, the launching point for Russia’s offensive in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.
In his nightly address to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the advance has liberated more than 30 settlements. His advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted:
What does effective Ukrainian counteroffensive tell the world?
1. 🇺🇦 proved the capability of de-occupying its territories. There will be no freezing of the conflict.
2. 🇺🇦 proved that it can effectively use modern Western weapons.
3. 🇷🇺 troops have to get out. It will hurt.
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) September 9, 2022
The Kremlin made no comment after Vladimir Putin proclaimed earlier this week at a conference, “We haven’t lost anything.”
However, other Russian sources confirmed Ukraine’s success. Russian proxy official Vitaly Ganchev spoke on State TV of the “very sharp and rapid” advance: “The very fact of a breach of our defences is already a substantial victory for the Ukrainian armed forces.” State media broadcast footage of purported reinforcements for the Kharkiv frontline, with columns of Russian tanks, support vehicles, and artillery travelling along paved roads and dirt tracks.
Ganchev implictly acknowledged the loss of Balakliia, “We do not control Balakliia. Attempts are being made to dislodge the Ukrainian forces, but there are fierce battles and our troops are being held back on the approaches.”
Video showed residents of the town enthusiastically welcoming Ukrainian soldiers, offering them food.
Ladies greet 🇺🇦 soldiers in liberated Balakliya after 6 months of 🇷🇺 occupation. “Boys, we have some pancakes left, would you like?” “A bit later, please, better still hide, shelling is still possible”. I can watch endlessly pic.twitter.com/n6XVRI8YfX
— Nataliya Gumenyuk (@ngumenyuk) September 8, 2022
Proxy officials ordered the evacuation of residents from Kupyansk and, more significantly, from Izyum.
The Russian military tried to take revenge by firing rockets on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which held out against occupation in the early phase of the invasion. At least 10 people were killed, including three children, in strikes on a children’s arts center, a school, and private homes.
A 62-year-old woman was killed overnight in further Russian shelling of the region.
Presidential Chief of Staff Andriy Yermak, wrote, “For every success of Ukraine’s armed forces, for every victory, Russians…answer with strikes on innocent people.”