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Russian Ministry of Defense releases first comments on retreat in Kharkiv region

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation decided to regroup troops in the regions of Balakliya and Izyum to “intensify efforts in the direction of Donetsk” and achieve the goals of the “special operation” to liberate the Donbas. A post on the department’s official Telegram channel stated:

Over the course of three days an operation was undertaken to curtail and organize the transfer of troops from the Izyum-Balakliya groups to the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic. During this period a number of distracting and deflecting measures were taken regarding the real movements of the troops.

The ministry of defense emphasized that “in order to prevent damage to Russian troops, a powerful defeat was inflicted on the enemy via air, missiles, and artillery.” 

“In three days more than 2,000 Ukrainian and foreign fighters were destroyed, as well as more than 100 units of armored vehicles and artillery,” the Russian military department noted.

This week the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) began a previously unannounced counteroffensive in the territory of the occupied Kharkiv region. On September 9 Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukrainian army had liberated more than 30 settlements in the region.

The UAF has taken the city of Balakliya. On September 10 Ukrainian Security Services announced that Ukrainian troops had entered the city of Kupyansk. The same day reports appeared that the UAF has forced Russian divisions to leave Izyum and Vovchansk, and that they were advancing on Lyman.

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