Ukraine war: We’ve Retaken 6,000 sq km from Russia, Says Zelensky

Story Highlights
  • Russia admits losing key cities in the north-eastern Kharkiv region.
  • Russian military forces reacquire more than 6,000 sq km (2,317 sq miles).
  • Atleast 1000 killed in the past six months.

Kyiv: Ukraine on Tuesday vowed to liberate all its territory after driving back Russian forces in the northeast of country and raising flags over battle-scarred towns, calling on the West to speed up deliveries of weapons to back the dramatic advance.

Since September 6, Ukraine’s counter-offensive has recaptured 3,800 square kilometres (1,467 square miles) of territory in its northeastern Kharkiv region, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said. Speaking from the recaptured town of Balakliia, Malyar said that the territory recaptured from Russian forces consisted of more than 300 settlements and around 150,000 current residents.

Earlier in the day Russia said Tuesday it was carrying out “massive strikes” across the Ukrainian front line and accused Ukrainian soldiers of abusing civilians in territories recaptured in a dramatic counter-offensive. Moscow’s retaliation came after it was forced to pull back its troops from swathes of the northeast, particularly in the Kharkiv region, following Kyiv’s lightning assault to wrest back terrain.

The territorial shifts marked one of Russia’s biggest setbacks since its troops were repelled from Kyiv in the earliest days of the nearly seven-month war, yet Moscow signalled it was no closer to agreeing to a negotiated peace.

At least 1,000 people have been killed in the last six months in fighting in the city of Izium but the real figure is probably much higher, an official said, two days after Kyiv’s forces recaptured the major supply hub.

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