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Ukraine intensifies counteroffensive in Kharkiv and pushes back Russian troops

Latest NewsUkraine intensifies counteroffensive in Kharkiv and pushes back Russian troops

The Ukrainian army continues counterattacks north of Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, where it pushed back Russian forces and regained control of several towns and villages that Vladimir Putin’s army occupied at the start of the invasion and used as a launching pad for the attack. city. However, the battle is heating up in the Donbass, where the Kremlin is moving withdrawn troops; this area of ​​eastern Ukraine is centered on the second phase of the Russian invasion.

In Kharkov, the Ukrainian army pushed the Kremlin troops back about 30 kilometers towards the Russian border. But Ukrainian authorities warn that after a combination of setbacks, such as the failure of the Kyiv offensive and the loss of occupied territories in the capital strip, Moscow is dragging out its offensive in the Donbas and redirecting its forces there. In recent days, air-supported attacks by planes and drones have been merciless in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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The cities of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk, both in Luhansk, are practically surrounded. When Russian forces succeed in the region, military analysts believe the Kremlin will strengthen its position in Izyum, a city about two hours southeast of Kharkov that it captured in April and has become an important logistics and operations center in the eastern region. . While Russia has so far failed in its intentions of a Ukrainian invasion, it has succeeded in expanding its control over Donbass: it has captured most of Kherson, 70% of Zaporozhye Oblast, and holds part of Kharkiv Oblast.

In general, the war, which is about to turn three months old, has turned into a conflict of attrition. Meanwhile, Ukraine is increasingly calling for more Western weapons to counter Russia and its allies, such as the EU and the US, who are endorsing new economic aid packages. Soldiers who remain at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, besieged by Russian forces in a city already taken by Moscow due to the lack of a steel plant, are in an increasingly critical situation, according to their families and the Ukrainian government.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s executive director is currently negotiating with Russia to evacuate the soldiers trapped in the plant, with the mediation of Turkey and the assistance of the Red Cross and the United Nations, which have mediated the implementation of humanitarian corridors through which civilians were brought from Azovstal . in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporozhye.

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Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on Friday that negotiations were underway to try to withdraw 38 seriously wounded soldiers. They could be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. The Kremlin, for its part, has avoided talk of an exchange, repeating that the soldiers can leave if they hand over their weapons. At the moment, Russia does not comply with the ceasefire agreements in the area.

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