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Ukraine war: Zelensky raises flag over re-captured Russian stronghold of Izyum

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Volodymyr Zelensky has helped raised the Ukrainian flag over the newly-recaptured Russian stronghold of Izyum as he celebrates a surprising counter-attack that routed Putin’s forces within the north of the nation.

The Ukrainian president took half in a minute of silence for fallen troopers earlier than congratulating these nonetheless combating on their victory. He then elevating the flag in overcome town – which beforehand served because the launchpad for the Putin’s mission to grab your complete Donbas area. 

‘Ukraine is taking again its personal,’ a navy spokesman mentioned, as a rising hope of general victory in opposition to Putin’s forces begins to unfold throughout the nation within the wake of Russia’s most-recent battlefield humiliation.

The size of the unfolding navy catastrophe is so nice that not even the Kremlin’s sock-puppet propagandists are attempting to disguise it, as a substitute telling viewers on Monday evening of a ‘critical defeat’ whereas contemplating – for the primary time – the prospect of whole defeat in Ukraine.

Karen Shakhnazarov, a film-maker and Kremlin loyalist, informed viewers of Vladimir Solovyov’s nightly present that Russia is now in a ‘very tough state of affairs’ in opposition to a ‘robust adversary’ – including that Moscow’s armed forces ‘weren’t prepared’ for what he lastly admitted is a ‘battle’ and never a ‘particular navy operation’.

‘This battle can solely finish with the defeat of one of many sides,’ he mentioned. ‘For us, this defeat might show deadly… it might result in the disintegration of the nation.’ 

President Zelensky (centre) poses with Ukrainian soldiers in the newly-liberated city of Izyum, which until last week had served as Russia's launching pad for the invasion of Donbas

President Zelensky (centre) poses with Ukrainian troopers within the newly-liberated metropolis of Izyum, which till final week had served as Russia’s launching pad for the invasion of Donbas

Zelensky

Zelensky

Zelensky took half in a minute of silence for fallen troopers (left) earlier than watching because the Ukrainian flag was raised over town, amid a rising hope that general victory in opposition to Putin’s forces is feasible

One of Ukraine's commanders shakes Zelensky's hand in the recaptured city of Izyum, which was liberated from Russian control in a rapid counter-attack by Kyiv's forces last week

One among Ukraine’s commanders shakes Zelensky’s hand within the recaptured metropolis of Izyum, which was liberated from Russian management in a speedy counter-attack by Kyiv’s forces final week

Zelensky (pictured in Izyum today) had used an overnight address to praise the advances of his troops, amid a growing sense that pushing Russian troops out of the country is possible

Zelensky (pictured in Izyum as we speak) had used an in a single day tackle to reward the advances of his troops, amid a rising sense that pushing Russian troops in another country is feasible

Ukrainian soldiers salute during a flag-raising ceremony in Izyum today, which previously served as the launch-point for Russian attacks on the Donbas but is now back under Kyiv's control

Ukrainian troopers salute throughout a flag-raising ceremony in Izyum as we speak, which beforehand served because the launch-point for Russian assaults on the Donbas however is now again underneath Kyiv’s management

Karen Shakhnazarov, a regular talking-head on Russian state TV, told viewers of a 'serious defeat' for the Russian military in Kharkiv that could prove 'fatal' to the whole country

Karen Shakhnazarov, an everyday talking-head on Russian state TV, informed viewers of a ‘critical defeat’ for the Russian navy in Kharkiv that might show ‘deadly’ to the entire nation

Russia's typically-loyal Putin propagandists were highly critical of the war effort on state TV on Monday night as they contemplated the possibility of total defeat in Ukraine

Russia’s typically-loyal Putin propagandists had been extremely vital of the battle effort on state TV on Monday evening as they contemplated the opportunity of whole defeat in Ukraine

Underlining that sense of impeding victory, the Ukrainian mayor of the occupied metropolis of Melitopol mentioned in a single day that Russian troops are beginning to withdraw – having held that territory for the reason that early days of the battle.

Ivan Fedorov wrote on Telegram that columns of navy gear had been reported at a checkpoint in Chonhar, as Russian troops apparently beat a retreat to occupied Crimea.

If Ukraine has forces able to re-taking town, then it could break the so-called ‘land bridge’ that Russia spent months establishing between occupied areas of Donbas and Crimea.

That might imply Russian forces presently combating tooth-and-nail for town of Kherson can be all-but reduce off from resupply from the mainland, apart from the susceptible bridge crossing the Kerch Strait.

It will additionally open up an avenue for Ukraine to assault Mariupol – the now-destroyed metropolis that Russia made one of many primary targets of its ‘particular navy operation – and additional weaken the place of its forces in Donbas.

Russian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk – the 2 areas which collectively make up the Donbas – are already in a precarious place after Ukraine’s counter-attack out of Kharkiv severed a few of their primary provide routes.

The cities of Izyum, Kupyansk and Vovchansk which fashioned the staging publish for its assaults within the area and include key railway traces to get ammo and different provides to its troopers at the moment are underneath Ukrainian management.

Kyiv’s speedy advance has now slowed as Russian troops regroup and attempt to re-establish a frontline, with combating mentioned to be ongoing round Lyman, Rubizhne, Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.

Within the newly freed village of Chkalovske within the Kharkiv area, Svitlana Honchar mentioned the Russians’ departure was sudden and swift.

‘They left just like the wind,’ Honchar mentioned Tuesday after loading cans of meals help into her automobile. ‘They had been fleeing by any means they may.’

Some Russians appeared to have been left behind within the hasty retreat. ‘They had been making an attempt to catch up,’ she mentioned.

It was not but clear if the Ukrainian blitz, which unfolded after months of little discernible motion, might sign a turning level within the almost seven-month battle.

A Ukrainian soldier hold up a mud-stained Russian flag after driving Putin's forces out of a huge area to the east of Kharkiv

A Ukrainian soldier maintain up a mud-stained Russian flag after driving Putin’s forces out of an enormous space to the east of Kharkiv 

RUssian tanks and armoured vehicles destroyed in fighting are revealed behind the backs of Putin's retreating forces

RUssian tanks and armoured autos destroyed in combating are revealed behind the backs of Putin’s retreating forces

A graveyard of rusting Russian tanks and armoured vehicles is uncovered as Putin's troops retreat from the Kharkiv region

A graveyard of rusting Russian tanks and armoured autos is uncovered as Putin’s troops retreat from the Kharkiv area

An armoured vehicle destroyed earlier in the war is revealed as Ukraine's forces recapture territory around Kharkiv

An armoured automobile destroyed earlier within the battle is revealed as Ukraine’s forces recapture territory round Kharkiv

However the nation’s officers had been buoyant, releasing footage displaying their forces burning Russian flags and inspecting deserted, charred tanks. In a single video, border guards tore down a poster that learn, ‘We’re one folks with Russia.’

Momentum has switched backwards and forwards earlier than, and Ukraine’s American allies had been cautious to not declare a untimely victory since Russian President Vladimir Putin nonetheless has troops and sources to faucet.

Within the face of Russia’s largest defeat since its botched try to seize Kyiv early within the battle, Protection Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov mentioned troops had been hitting again with ‘large strikes’ in all sectors. However there have been no rapid studies of a sudden uptick in Russian assaults.

Reviews of chaos abounded as Russian troops pulled out – in addition to claims that they had been surrendering en masse. The claims couldn’t be confirmed.

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Protection Hanna Maliar mentioned Kyiv is making an attempt to influence much more Russian troopers to surrender, launching shells crammed with flyers forward of their advance.

‘Russians use you as cannon fodder. Your life does not imply something for them. You do not want this battle. Give up to Armed Forces of Ukraine,’ the flyers learn.

Within the wake of the retreat, Ukrainian authorities moved into a number of areas to analyze alleged atrocities dedicated by Russian troops in opposition to civilians.

Since Saturday, the Kharkiv regional police have repeatedly reported that native regulation enforcement officers have discovered civilian our bodies bearing indicators of torture throughout territories previously held by Russia. It was not doable to confirm their statements.

On Tuesday, regional police alleged that Russian troops arrange ‘a torture chamber’ on the native police station in Balakliya, a city of 25,000, that was occupied from March till final week.

In a Fb publish, the top of the police power’s investigative division, Serhii Bolvinov, cited testimony from Balakliya residents and claimed that Russian troops ‘all the time stored not less than 40 folks captive’ on the premises.

In the meantime, navy analysts sought to know the blow sustained by Moscow.

British intelligence mentioned that one premier power, the first Guards Tank Military, had been ‘severely degraded’ in the course of the invasion, together with the standard Russian forces designed to counter NATO.

A Ukrainian soldier sits on top of a captured Russian vehicle after Putin's men fled and left hundreds of them behind

A Ukrainian soldier sits on high of a captured Russian automobile after Putin’s males fled and left a whole bunch of them behind

An overturned Russian armoured vehicle sinks into a quagmire beneath a road bridge after apparently driving itself off the road amid a chaotic retreat from the area around Kharkiv

An overturned Russian armoured automobile sinks right into a quagmire beneath a street bridge after apparently driving itself off the street amid a chaotic retreat from the world round Kharkiv

The remains of an armoured vehicle (centre right) are seen on a destroyed road bridge in the newly-recaptured city of Izyum

The stays of an armoured automobile (centre proper) are seen on a destroyed street bridge within the newly-recaptured metropolis of Izyum

Russia artillery shells captured by the Ukrainian Armed Forces during its counter-attack near Kharkiv are seen in Izyum

Russia artillery shells captured by the Ukrainian Armed Forces throughout its counter-attack close to Kharkiv are seen in Izyum

‘It is going to seemingly take years for Russia to rebuild this functionality,’ the British officers mentioned.

The setback may renew Russia’s curiosity in peace talks, mentioned Abbas Gallyamov, an impartial Russian political analyst and former speechwriter for Putin.

However even when Putin had been to take a seat down on the negotiating desk, Zelenskyy has made it clear that Russia should return all Ukrainian territory, together with Crimea, Gallyamov mentioned.

‘That is unacceptable to Moscow, so talks are, strictly talking, not possible,’ he mentioned.

Putin’s earlier actions ‘have restricted his room to maneuver,’ so he ‘would not be capable of put something significant on the desk.’

For talks to be doable, Putin ‘would want to go away and get replaced by somebody who’s comparatively untarnished by the present state of affairs,’ reminiscent of his deputy chief of workers, the Moscow mayor or the Russian prime minister, Gallyamov mentioned.

The retreat didn’t cease Russia from pounding Ukrainian positions. It shelled town of Lozova within the Kharkiv area, killing three folks and injuring 9, mentioned regional Gov. Oleh Syniehubov.

And Ukrainian officers mentioned Russia stored up shelling round Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the place combating has raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe. The Nikopol space, which is throughout the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant, was shelled six occasions in the course of the evening, however no accidents had been instantly reported, mentioned regional Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko.

Strikes have additionally continued unabated on town of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest and one which has been hammered by artillery for months.

Amongst Kharkiv’s battle-scarred house buildings, one man who returned to feed the birds struck a defiant tone, saying that the success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive would seemingly immediate harsh Russian retaliation in opposition to civilian targets. However he mentioned the Kremlin wouldn’t achieve intimidating abnormal Ukrainians.

Putin ‘will strike so we do not have water, electrical energy, to create extra chaos and intimidate us,’ mentioned Serhii who solely gave his first title. ‘However he is not going to succeed as a result of we’ll survive, and Putin will quickly croak!’

Ukraine has pulled off ‘one of many best counter assaults in trendy historical past’: Army professional JUSTIN BRONK says Vladimir Putin has NO good choices and Russia’s total invasion power might COLLAPSE in worst defeat since WW2 

Vladimir Putin has no good choices for tips on how to react after a lightning offensive by Ukraine inflicted Russia’s most critical and speedy navy defeat on the battlefield for the reason that Second World Conflict, a navy professional mentioned as we speak.

JUSTIN BRONK, a analysis fellow at London’s Royal United Providers Institute, has analysed the most recent state of affairs in an article for MailOnline as we speak as Ukrainian troops continued to pile stress on retreating Russian forces.

Ukraine is now in search of to carry onto its sudden momentum that has produced main territorial good points, with Russian troops surrendering en masse amid hopes {that a} turning level within the battle has lastly been reached.

The counter-offensive left the Kremlin struggling for a response to its largest navy defeat in Ukraine since Russia pulled again from areas close to Kyiv after a botched try to seize the capital early within the invasion.

Mr Bronk mentioned Ukraine has ‘baited Russia into accepting an attritional battle in a really militarily disadvantageous place’, including that Russia ‘might be laborious pressed merely to keep away from any extra disasters earlier than winter’. 

The lengthy awaited Ukrainian counter-offensive to retake the southern metropolis of Kherson lastly started late final month. 

Nonetheless, many had been dismayed by the comparatively cautious tempo at which Ukrainian forces had been advancing, and identified that by making it so apparent {that a} counter-offensive was being ready in Kherson, Kyiv had given the Russian Military greater than a month to maneuver a few of its most elite remaining items and enormous numbers of supporting reserve items to dam it. 

The brilliance of this technique his been revealed as of Wednesday final week, as a second Ukrainian power launched a smaller scale however far more cell counter-offensive within the Kharkiv area to the north.

After initially breaking by means of the Russian frontlines on the city of Balakliya, Ukrainian armoured and mechanised brigades didn’t cease to consolidate their good points, however as a substitute drove quickly all through the following two days and nights, deep into Russian-occupied territory. 

Because the Ukrainian commanders urgently rushed reinforcements in to consolidate and widen the slender hall of liberated cities, the spearhead items remoted after which bypassed the restricted Russian reserve forces that attempted to halt them on the small village of Sevchenkove and reached the southern fringe of the essential junction metropolis of Kup’yansk on Friday morning. 

At this level, panic started to take maintain within the Russian items stationed all through occupied Kharkiv Oblast, for the reason that essential freeway and railway hyperlinks between Russia itself and the fortified stronghold of Izyum all handed by means of Kup’yansk, that means that a whole flank of the Russian line was instantly reduce off from reinforcement, resupply or orderly retreat.

Reacting rapidly to the unexpectedly speedy success of their spearheads at Kup’yansk, Ukrainian forces stationed to the south of Izyum in Donbas started attacking northwards, whereas the unique breakthrough power headed down the Ozkil river to finish the encirclement. 

With the most important roads and railway reduce off, and whole encirclement a looming risk, the closely fortified Russian forces in Izyum deserted their heavy gear and weaponry and fled on foot and in stolen civilian autos alongside the remaining small roads to the East. 

Inside days of beginning its northern counter-offensive, the Russian Ministry of Defence had confirmed that it was ‘regrouping’ all its forces in Kharkiv Oblast to the Donbas or again to Russia itself. 

Ukrainian military vehicles move on the road in the freed territory of the Kharkiv region yesterday

Ukrainian navy autos transfer on the street within the freed territory of the Kharkiv area yesterday

In lower than every week, greater than 3,000 sq. kilometres of Ukrainian territory had been liberated, large stockpiles of ammunition, weapons and armoured autos captured to be used by Ukrainian forces, and your complete Russian place in North-Jap Ukraine fully destabilised. 

Russian forces haven’t suffered such a critical and speedy navy defeat on the battlefield for the reason that Second World Conflict.

Worse nonetheless for Putin is that proven fact that he has no good choices for tips on how to react now. 

Nearly all of his probably cell and elite items in Ukraine are nonetheless concentrated in Kherson to the south, and are going through a critical and ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensive operation that can’t be ignored. 

Moreover, by signalling for thus lengthy that Kherson was goal for liberation, Ukraine has baited Russia into accepting an attritional battle in a really militarily disadvantageous place. 

The area of Kherson Oblast that Russia is making an attempt to carry onto is on the Western financial institution of the large Dnipro river. 

The US-supplied lengthy vary HIMARS rocket artillery system has allowed Ukraine to successfully destroy the one two crossing factors – the Antonovsky Bridge and the bridge at Nova Kahkovka – and commonly destroy the momentary pontoon bridges and ferry crossings that the Russian Military has tried to construct as a substitute. 

As such, the big focus of Russian forces defending Kherson are depending on extremely disrupted and bottlenecked provide traces, that means that they’re quickly operating low on medical provides, meals and above all ammunition. 

That is an attritional battle that favours Ukraine because of the territory concerned however for Putin, Kherson must be defended politically as a consequence of its standing because the one main Ukrainian metropolis taken roughly intact throughout this invasion.

Now together with his northern flank collapsing, Putin can not simply withdraw elite items from Kherson, since it could threat a second main rout within the face of the continued Ukrainian counter-offensive operations there. 

Even when he tries to withdraw some forces, the blown up bridges and frequently-struck momentary crossing factors over the Dnipro imply it will likely be tough to switch heavy gear and autos out of Kherson. 

If his forces keep put within the south, then the vast majority of Russia’s usable fight energy might be trapped with their backs to the river and steadily floor down by a Ukrainian power that has significantly better provide traces, extra troops and so can maintain an attritional artillery duel for longer. 

Ukrainian service members pose for a photograph in the recently liberated settlement of Shevchenkove last Saturday

Ukrainian service members pose for {a photograph} within the just lately liberated settlement of Shevchenkove final Saturday

Nonetheless, if the Kherson entrance had been to break down, it could be such a political and navy catastrophe coming quickly after the gorgeous defeat in Kharkiv that Russian navy morale may completely disintegrate, or Putin may even discover himself threatened by discontented factions inside the Russian energy construction at residence.

Since redeploying forces away from Kherson is such an unappealing selection, and the Russian Military is so overstretched elsewhere in Ukraine, Putin’s solely different typical selection is to throw in newly conscripted troops which have been mobilised since Russia started partial mobilisation in late-June. 

Nonetheless, it takes time to coach new recruits or conscripts to be in any respect helpful on a contemporary battlefield, and most of these conscripted would merely be cannon fodder with so little time to coach. 

Moreover, the necessity to ship these underneath coaching or in second-line formations in Russia to Ukraine to attempt to regular the road within the Donbas means any hope that Putin had of reconstituting a critical power for renewed offensive operations in Spring 2023 is gone. 

He might declare battle and start full mobilisation, however even which may produce usable formations too late to counter a Ukrainian offensive in Spring. 

Moreover, it could be extremely unpopular in most of Russia and threat additional destabilising the regime.

Even when Ukraine takes little extra territory again from Russian forces earlier than the worsening climate shuts down most main actions for either side in November, the present counter-offensives signify a significant turning level. 

Ukraine now has the initiative, and Russia might be laborious pressed merely to keep away from any extra disasters earlier than winter. 

Ukraine’s Western companions now have proof that Ukrainian forces can decisively beat the Russian Military if given sufficient materials help, and that may make it politically a lot simpler to maintain that help on the crucial stage by means of what guarantees to be a tough winter from a meals and vitality safety standpoint. 

Russia, in the meantime has no good choices, and might be confronted with the information that even when it could possibly keep away from shedding the battle this 12 months, its battered forces will face a good higher outfitted Ukrainian Military in 2023.

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