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Ukraine forces reach key city in offensive against Russia

The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that it had removed forces from areas beyond your major Ukrainian city Kharkiv, a significant development in the ongoing war.

Why it matters: Ukraine could have taken a large number of square miles of territory in what may have been the fastest breakthrough in months.

The most recent: State-run media agency TASS reported Saturday that the Russian defense ministry said troops were taken off regions Balakleya and Izyum to bolster its efforts in Donetsk.

  • The ministry said “your choice was designed to regroup Russian troops” in Donetsk, per CNN.
  • The Izyum-Balakleyskaya grouping of Russian troops was rolled up in three days and used in the territory of the DPR, the statement said, per TASS.

Details: The announcement came after Ukrainian troops reached a significant railway city in the northeastern portion of the country, potentially cutting off the supply for Russian forces, Reuters reports.

  • Ukraine recently gained ground in the railway city of Kupiansk, where all of the rail lines link together and connect Russia to eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports.
  • This might have trapped a large number of Russian troops since Ukraine’s advance “penetrated completely to Moscow’s main logistics route,” in accordance with Reuters.

Zoom in: Police were seen walking through towns where Russian ammunition boxes were found abandoned, signaling that Russian troops could have left the region, Reuters reports.

What they’re saying: “Russian forces were likely taken by surprise. The sector was only lightly held and Ukrainian units have captured or surrounded several towns,” the British military said, in accordance with NPR.

What we’re watching: Ukraine’s military didn’t announce that it had entered Kupiansk.

Go deeper: CIA chief says Russia can pay “much price” for war on Ukraine

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