Ukraine maintains counter-offensive momentum and claims to have reached Russian border

Ukraine maintained the counter-offensive momentum in its war with Russia on Monday, saying it had liberated one village after another and claimed that in one area it had pushed back invaders to the border in a lightning military move that stunned many.

“In some areas of the front, our defenders have reached the border with the Russian Federation,” said regional governor of the northeastern region of Kharkiv, Oleh Syniehubov. Russian troops crossed the border into the region on February 24, the first day of the invasion.

Russia acknowledged the military developments saying it was regrouping. As throughout the war, military claims were difficult to independently verify.

After Sunday’s attacks by Russia on power plants and other infrastructure that knocked out electricity in many places across Ukraine, authorities in Kyiv also said electricity and water supplies had been restored to about 80% in the Kharkiv region.

“You are heroes!!!” Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on Telegram early in the morning, highlighting the nation’s bubbling mood as it endured more than 200 days of war and occupation. difficult night for Kharkiv to normalize life in the city as quickly as possible. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said its troops had liberated more than 20 settlements in the past day.

The dynamic vibe was also captured by defiant President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on social media on Sunday night, comments which immediately went viral.

“Do you still think you can intimidate us, break us, force us to make concessions? You really didn’t understand anything? You don’t understand who we are? What we stand for? What are we talking about,” urged Zelenskyy.

“Read my lips,” he continued. “Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst for us are not so frightening and deadly as your friendship and brotherhood.” He added: “We will be with gas, lights, water and food…and WITHOUT you!” Yet even amid the turmoil, the losses kept mounting. Ukraine’s presidential office said on Monday that at least four civilians had been killed and 11 others injured in a series of Russian attacks in nine regions of the country. The UN Human Rights Office said last week that 5,767 civilians had been killed so far.

The Russians continued to shell Nikopol across the Dnieper from the Zaporizhzhia power plant, damaging several buildings there and leaving Europe’s largest nuclear facility in a precarious position.

The turn of events and the very significant reversal of the initiative was supported by international observers who warned of terrible times ahead for Russian troops. This was in stark contrast to the early days of the war when Russian troops were heading for the gates of Kyiv.

“Faced with Ukrainian advances, Russia has probably ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the whole of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River,” the British Ministry of Defense said on Monday, signifying an advance major of Kyiv. “Ukraine has taken over a territory at least twice the size of Greater London,” he said.

The British said it would likely further deteriorate the trust Russian forces have in their commanders. Ukraine’s initial move on the southern Kherson region, drawing the attention of enemy troops there, before surging to more depleted Russian lines in the northeast beyond Kharkiv, has so far was considered a great military movement.

Even around Kherson, Russia is struggling to get across the Dnipro River to stop the Ukrainian offensive there, the British military said.

He added: “The rapid Ukrainian successes have important implications for Russia’s overall operational design. The majority of the force in Ukraine is most likely forced to prioritize emergency defensive actions. The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said on Monday that Russia likely lacked the reserve forces it needed to bolster its defenses in Ukraine.

While the war is likely to continue into next year, the institute believes that “Ukraine has turned the tide of this war in its favor” by effectively using Western-supplied weapons like the long-range missile system. HIMARS and solid battlefield tactics. “Kyiv will likely increasingly dictate the location and nature of major fights.” Seeking to contain its loss of momentum, Russia fired missiles at power plants and other critical infrastructure, immediately meeting Ukrainian and American criticism to focus on civilian targets.

The shelling sparked a massive fire at a power plant on the western outskirts of Kharkiv and killed at least one person. Zelenskyy denounced “deliberate and cynical missile strikes” against civilian targets as acts of terrorism.

“Russia’s apparent response to Ukraine’s liberation of towns and villages in the east: sending missiles in an attempt to destroy critical civilian infrastructure,” wrote U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink.

Separately, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied south was completely shut down in a bid to prevent a radioactive disaster as fighting raged nearby. (AP)NSA

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Christi C. Elwood