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Ukraine furthers gains in Kharkiv region following major breakthrough

Ukrainian forces have continued their advance into the Kharkiv region, pushing into the region’s northern, southern and eastern flanks Ukraine’s military chief Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi wrote in a Telegram post on Sunday.

Driving the news: The news comes on the back of a major Ukrainian breakthrough this weekend, as Russian forces on Saturday withdrew from the areas surrounding Kharkiv in light of the Ukrainian advance.

  • Russia also removed troops from the regions Balakleya and Izyum, and Ukrainian forces reached the major railway city of Kupiansk, potentially cutting supplies for Russian forces.

The big picture: “Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 square kilometers have been returned to the control of Ukraine,” Zaluzhnyi added in the Telegram post.

  • Ukrainian forces are now about 50 kilometers from the Russian border, he added.
  • Ukraine’s Defense Ministry tweeted Sunday that Ukrainian forces had also recaptured the village of Chkalovske, which lies between Izyum and Kharkiv.
  • Ukrainian forces entered the city of Izyum on Saturday, CNN reported. Fighting continued on Sunday in some of the surrounding areas, the U.K. Ministry of Defense noted in an intelligence update Sunday.
  • Balakliia, Kupiansk and Izyum are crucial to the supply and logistics of Russian forces in the Donbas, Politico reported.

What they’re saying: “Over the last 24 hours, Ukrainian forces have continued to make significant gains in the Kharkiv region,” the U.K. Ministry of Defense wrote in the intelligence update.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told a forum over the weekend that the winter period could be “a turning point” in the war that could see a “rapid de-occupation of Ukraine” and reiterated calls for more weaponry.

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