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Ukraine pushes counter-offensive, Biden sees lengthy haul By Reuters

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© Reuters. Ukrainian troopers relaxation on the highway as they head to a entrance line, as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv area, Ukraine September 13, 2022. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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By Tom Balmforth

BALAKLIIA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine has set its sights on liberating all territory occupied by invading Russian forces after driving them again in a speedy counter-offensive within the northeast, a aim U.S. President Joe Biden stated could be “an extended haul” reaching.

In a Tuesday night tackle, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated round 8,000 sq. km (3,100 sq. miles) have been liberated by Ukrainian forces thus far this month, apparently all within the northeastern area of Kharkiv.

“Stabilisation measures” had been accomplished in about half of that territory, Zelenskiy stated, “and throughout a liberated space of about the identical measurement, stabilisation measures are nonetheless ongoing.”

Reuters was not capable of instantly confirm the complete scope of battlefield successes claimed by Ukraine. The whole space cited by Zelenskiy is roughly the scale of the Greek island of Crete.

Requested whether or not Ukraine has reached a turning level within the six-month conflict, Biden stated it was laborious to inform.

“It is clear the Ukrainians have made vital progress. However I believe it’s going to be an extended haul.”

The White Home, which has supplied billions of {dollars} of weapons and assist, stated earlier the US is prone to announce a brand new navy help package deal for Ukraine in “coming days”. Russian forces have left defensive positions, notably in and round Kharkiv, the second largest metropolis in Ukraine, a U.S. spokesperson stated.

Since Moscow deserted its fundamental bastion within the northeast on Saturday, marking its worst defeat for the reason that early days of the conflict, Ukrainian troops have recaptured dozens of cities in a surprising shift in battleground momentum.

Russian forces nonetheless management a few fifth of Ukraine within the south and east, however Kyiv is now on the offensive in each areas.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych held out the prospects of transferring on the jap province of Luhansk, which along with Donetsk is named the Donbas, a significant industrial area near the border with Russia.

“There may be now an assault on Lyman and there might be an advance on Siversk,” Arestovych stated in a video posted on YouTube, referring to 2 cities. He predicted a struggle for the city of Svatovo, the place he stated the Russians have storage depots.

“And that’s what they worry most – that we take Lyman after which advance on Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. And they’d be reduce off from Svatovo,” he stated.

Denis Pushilin, chief of the Donetsk Folks’s Republic run by Russian proxies stated in a video put up that Lyman stays of their fingers. “The state of affairs has been stabilised. The enemy naturally is attempting to advance in small teams however (Russian-led) Allied forces are absolutely repelling them.”

SOLDIERS WELCOMED

Talking within the central sq. of Balakliia, a vital navy provide hub taken by Ukrainian forces late final week, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar stated 150,000 folks had been liberated from Russian rule within the space.

Ukrainian flags had been raised and a big crowd gathered to obtain bundles of humanitarian help. A purchasing centre had been destroyed however many buildings remained intact, with outlets closed and boarded up.

“The intention is to liberate the Kharkiv area and past – all of the territories occupied by the Russian Federation,” Malyar stated on the highway to Balakliia, which lies 74 km (46 miles) southeast of Kharkiv.

The highway to Balakliia via liberated areas was plagued by charred automobiles and destroyed navy {hardware}.

Teams of Ukrainian troopers smoked, grinned and chatted beside the highway. One soldier was stretched out on the highest of a tank prefer it was his front room couch.

Within the close by village of Verbivka, emotional however cheery residents, a lot of them of retirement age, recounted the fearful existences they led underneath virtually seven months of Russian occupation.

“It was scary: we tried to stroll round much less, so that they’d see us much less,” stated Tetiana Sinovaz.

Nadia Khvostok, 76, described the traumatic occupation and the arrival of Ukrainian troops, saying residents greeted them “with tears in our eyes”.

There have been deserted Russian automobiles, together with a navy truck with a smashed windscreen.

POWER LINES RESTORED

In the meantime, restore crews have restored the 2 fundamental energy strains supplying Kharkiv metropolis and its surrounds, energy agency Ukrenergo stated after Russian shelling induced blackouts.

The Kyiv authorities fears Russia will step up assaults on its power networks as winter approaches and is pleading for anti-aircraft expertise from the West to guard the infrastructure.

With Russian forces underneath strain, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had a cellphone name with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Scholz referred to as on Putin to discover a diplomatic resolution as quickly as doable, based mostly on a ceasefire, full withdrawal of Russian troops, and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, a German authorities spokesperson stated.

Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Syehubov, who got here to Verbivka, stated the authorities had been attempting to file crimes dedicated by Russians throughout their occupation of the world, and get well the our bodies of victims.

“We’re asking everybody round about all of the locations of burial which could be discovered,” he stated.

Moscow denies its forces have dedicated atrocities in areas they’ve managed since Putin ordered the invasion on Feb. 24.


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