Firefighters battle a blaze at a thermal power plant after a Russian missile strike, Kharkiv, Ukraine September 11, 2022

Sunday’s Coverage: Russia Faces Defeat in Northeast

Source: Institute for the Study of War


Municipal deputies from 18 districts of Moscow and St Petersburg have called for the resignation of Vladimir Putin.

Ksenia Torstrem, of the Semenovsky district of St Petersburg, read the statement and said afterwards:

It is difficult to speak out publicly because of the repression. Therefore, we came up with such a concise text.

Deputies are not yet forbidden to have an opinion. And it is also not forbidden to speak for the resignation of the president. He is not a monarch, but a hired worker, receives a salary from our taxes.

Our function is to represent the interests of the people, and we see that the people are not satisfied. And our people are the source of power according to the Constitution. I personally do not understand the motives of Vladimir Putin’s actions. I think you can’t be in power for so long.


In their counter-offensive in the northeast, Ukraine forces have reached the border with Russia:


As Ukrainian troops liberate territory in the Kharkiv region in the northeast, they are finding the bodies of civilians apparently tortured and executed by Russian occupiers.

Among the discoveries are four victims in Zaliznychne.


Turkey’s Anadolu Agency posts a graphic portraying Ukraine’s gains in the counter-offensive in the northeast:


Ukrainian troops have reportedly crossed the border of the Kharkiv region and liberated the village of Kuzemivka in neighboring Luhansk.

Governor Serhiy Haidai posted a photo of a Ukrainian flag hanging above a tower in the village.

Russian forces seized almost all of Luhansk by early July.


Ukrainian officials have speaking of the high toll of Russia’s occupation of Izyum in the Kharkiv region.

On Saturday, Ukrainian forces regained the city, which was overrun by the Russians in March.

Maksym Strelnikov, a member of the city council, told a televised news conference.

According to the information we have, at least 1,000 residents unfortunately died as a result of fighting, but we believe that an even larger number of people suffered due to not being able to receive necessary medical help as the Russians destroyed all medical institutions in Izyum in March.

Strelnikov said 80% of the city’s infrastructure, including central heating, had been destroyed. About 10,000 people — 1/5th of the pre-invasion population — remained during the Russian occupation.


Russia has again fired on Kharkiv city, knocking out power and the water supply.

Mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on Telegram:

The situation of yesterday evening is repeated. Because of the shelling, critical infrastructure facilities were disabled. Power engineers, rescuers and utility workers are working to eliminate the consequences of the shelling.

A man was killed and six people injured by the attacks.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted that Russia will achieve the goals of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Peskov refused to respond to questions about a general mobilization, so far resisted by Vladimir Putin, as Ukraine regains territory in the northeast and south.


With Vladimir Putin still silent about Ukraine’s advances in the northeast and south, Kremlin supporters are turning into critics on State TV:


Advancing Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region take down a slogan of Russian occupiers and find an inspirational message by Ukraine’s iconic poet Taras Shevchenko:

And glory to you, dark-blue mountains,
Frost and snow protect you;
And to you, great-hearted heroes,
God does not forget you.
Struggle on—and be triumphant!
God Himself will aid you;
At your side fight truth and glory,
Right and holy freedom.


Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the northeast is halted…by a hedgehog.


Exposing Russia’s depiction of an orderly retreats, residents in the Kharkiv region have described Russian troops fleeing on stolen bicycles and disguising themselves as locals.

“They just dropped rifles on the ground,” said Olena Matvienko amid ammunition crates, burnt-out vehicles, and a destroyed Russian tank loaded on a flatbed.

Half of the soldiers fled in vehicles in the first hours of the Ukrainian counter-offensive. The others desperately pleaded to commanders for someone to get them, only to be told, “You’re on your own”.

Matvienko said, “They came into our houses to take clothes so the drones wouldn’t see them in uniforms. They took our bicycles. Two of them pointed guns at my ex-husband until he handed them his car keys.”

She reflected, “They were not monsters, they were kids. I asked what they wanted from us and they said, ‘We can either be here or we can be in jail.’”


In the face of Ukraine’s counter-offensives, Dmitry Medvedev — former Russian President and currently on the State National Security Council — has blustered:

[Ukraine President] Zelenskiy said that he would not engage in dialogue with those who put forward ultimatums. The current “ultimatums” are a child’s warm-up for the demands of the future. And he knows them: the total capitulation of the Kyiv regime on Russia’s terms.


The US-based Institute for the Study of War summarizes the effect of Ukraine’s “major operational defeat” of Russia upon Moscow’s offensive in the east of the country:

The Ukrainian recapture of Izyum ended the prospect that Russia could accomplish its stated objectives in Donetsk Oblast….

The loss of Izyum dooms the initial Russian campaign plan for this phase of the war and ensures that Russian advances toward Bakhmut or around Donetsk City cannot be decisive (if they occur at all). Even the Russian seizure of Bakhmut, which is unlikely to occur considering Russian forces have impaled themselves on tiny surrounding settlements for weeks, would no longer support any larger effort to accomplish the original objectives of this phase of the campaign since it would not be supported by an advance from Izyum in the north.

The continued Russian offensive operations against Bakhmut and around Donetsk City have thus lost any real operational significance for Moscow and merely waste some of the extremely limited effective combat power Russia retains.

The analysts link the Ukrainian counter-offensives in the northeast and south to summarize:

Ukraine has turned the tide of this war in its favor. Kyiv will likely increasingly dictate the location and nature of the major fighting, and Russia will find itself increasingly responding inadequately to growing Ukrainian physical and psychological pressure in successive military campaigns unless Moscow finds some way to regain the initiative.

UK military intelligence echoes the assessment. It notes that in the northeast, “Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River.” In the south in the Kherson region, the Russians are struggling to bring reserves west of the Dnipro River, as Ukrainian strikes destroy improvised bridges.

The report concludes, “The already limited trust [that] deployed troops have in Russia’s senior military leadership is likely to deteriorate further.”


The latest Russian attacks across the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed three civilians and wounded eight.

Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said the slain victims were in Velyka Novosilka, Romanivka, and Bakhmut.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Facing defeat in northeast Ukraine — and possibly the rollback of their offensive in the east — Russia has tried to knock out Ukrainian infrastructure such as electricity and water plants with missile strikes.

The Russian attacks on Sunday night targeted Kharkiv city, with two cruise missiles hitting targets, in the northeast region where Ukraine has advanced rapidly since last Tuesday. Ukraine’s second-largest city was darkened, with a blaze at one power station, but power was restored in some areas about 1 a.m.

Emergency services said two people were killed at a “critical infrastructure site” and another in a residential building.

The Russians also caused blackouts in the Sumy, Poltava, and Dnipropetrovsk regions. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Presidential Office, said power was restored in those areas as well as in Kharkiv; however, in Dnipropetrovsk two people were killed and a 19-year-old woman wounded.

The Ukraine military said nine other missiles were downed by air defenses.

Ihor Terekhov, the mayor of Kharkiv, said, “This is a mean and cynical revenge of the Russian aggressor for the successes of our army at the front, in particular – in the Kharkiv region. I ask everyone to keep calm.”

Earlier on Sunday, one person was killed and nine wounded across the Kharkiv region by Russian shelling.

Zelenskiy: “We’ll Call It A Victory”

Saying that “the enemy is panicked” after Ukraine seized more than 3,000 square km (1,158 square miles) of territory in the northeast and south since September 1, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on Telegram:

Even through the impenetrable darkness, Ukraine and the civilized world can clearly see that these are acts of terrorists. [They are] deliberate and cynical missile strikes on critical civilian infrastructure. Not military facilities.

He continued:

Do you still think that we are “one people”? Do you still think that you can scare us, break us, make us make concessions?

You really did not understand anything? Don’t understand who we are, what are we for?

What are we talking about? Read my lips:

Without gas or without you? Without you.

Without light or without you? Without you.

Without water or without you? Without you.

Without food or without you? Without you.

Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst are not as scary and deadly for us as your “friendship and brotherhood”.

But history will put everything in its place. And we will be with gas, light, water and food…and WITHOUT you!

Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region began last Tuesday. Troops soon liberated villages such as Balakliia. By Friday, they had regained the strategic town of Kupyansk and the city of Izyum, the staging point for Russia’s offensive in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukrainian armed forces, said on Sunday after noon, that “there are 50 kilometers to go to the state border” with Russia.

Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu have still made no comment on the counter-offensive. However, in a sign of the Kremlin’s concern, the general commanding Russia’s western army group was fired on Sunday.

Gen. Roman Berdnikov had only been in the post for 17 days. He was replaced by Lt. Gen. Alexander Lapin, commmander of the central army group, according to the Ukrainian military.

The Russian Defense Ministry finally acknowledged the Ukrainian advance on Saturday, but claimed that troops had staged a successful withdrawal.

In his nightly address to the nation, President Zelenskiy thanked Ukraine’s armed forces:

Today, everyone sees and notes your actions in the north, south and east of Ukraine. The world is impressed. The enemy is panicking. Ukraine is proud of you, believes in you, prays for you, and is waiting for you.

The path to victory is a difficult one. But we are sure: you are capable of it. You will reach our border, all its sections. You will see our frontiers and the enemies’ backs. You will see the shining of the eyes of our people and of the occupiers’ heels. They will call it “goodwill gestures”. We’ll call it a victory.