Russia abandons its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine, in a sudden collapse of one of the conflict's principal front lines after Ukrainian forces make a rapid advance on 199th day of fighting.

Ukrainian service members pose for a picture in the recently liberated settlement of Vasylenkove, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region.
Ukrainian service members pose for a picture in the recently liberated settlement of Vasylenkove, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region. (AFP)

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Zelenskyy: Ukraine has recaptured '2,000' sq km of territory

Ukraine's army has recaptured around 2,000 square kilometres of territory in September, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced, adding that the Russian army was doing the right thing in fleeing the counter-offensive.

"For the moment, since the beginning of September, around 2,000 kilometres has been liberated," said Zelenskyy in his evening address.

"These last days, the Russian army has shown us its best (side) -- its back," Zelenskyy added. "After all, it's a good choice for them to flee. There is no place in Ukraine for the occupiers. There never will be."

Russia-backed Kharkiv region administrator urges full evacuation

The Russia-backed chief administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine's Kharkiv region has recommended that all its inhabitants evacuate to Russia "to save lives", according to the Russian state-run TASS news agency.

Vitaly Ganchev said official representatives were ready to provide the refugees with food, heat and medical care, according to TASS.

The Russian Defence Ministry said it was pulling troops out of Izyum and Balakliia — crucial military supply hubs in the Kharkiv region — as Ukraine claimed rapid advances.

Russia says forces ‘regrouping’ as Ukraine reports gains in east

Moscow announced that it was withdrawing forces in the eastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine, after Kiev said its troops had made sweeping gains in the territory held for months by Russia's army.

The apparent drawdown of Russian forces comes as Ukrainian troops said they had entered the town of Kupiansk in Kharkiv, with military observers saying Kiev's army had advanced further still.

To achieve the goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbass, a decision was made to regroup Russian troops stationed in the Balakliya and Izyum regions, to bolster efforts along the Donetsk front.

Russia's defence ministry

Russian rockets hit Ukraine’s Kharkiv, killing one: Governor

Russian rocket fire hit Ukraine's northeastern city of Kharkiv, killing at least one person and damaging several homes, local officials said.

The strikes hit the western suburb of Kholodnohirsk and damaged several homes in Ukraine's second largest city, its mayor Ihor Terekhov said.

Regional Governor Oleh Synehubov said rockets from an MLRS system had killed one person and wounded two.

Russia destroys tracking radar station in Ukraine's Mykolaiv region

Russian air forces destroyed a tracking radar station of the Ukrainian army in the Mykolaiv region and six weapon and missile depots in the eastern and southeastern parts of Ukraine, TASS quoted the Russian defence ministry as saying.

Russian air defence systems downed 13 Ukrainian drones and destroyed five HIMARS missiles in the air, the ministry said, according to state news agency TASS.

Ukraine negotiating $1.5 billion US loan for gas: prime minister

Ukraine is negotiating for a $1.5 billion loan tranche from the US Export-Import Bank to purchase natural gas, Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal wrote on Telegram in a summary of a call with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Moldovan national airlines blocked from resuming flights to Moscow

Moldova's civil aviation authority has blocked Air Moldova and other national carriers from restarting flights between Chisinau and Moscow, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu said.

Air Moldova had said that it hoped to restart flights from Chisinau to Moscow from October 1. 

Moldova suspended air links with Russia over its February 24 offensive against Ukraine.

Ukraine breaks through front line in east, nearing key town

Western defence officials say they believe Ukraine had punched through Russian front lines south of the country’s second-largest city, taking thousands of square miles of territory and threatening to cut off Russian supply lines.

The British Defense Ministry in an online briefing on Saturday said it believed the Ukrainians had advanced as much as 50 kilometres (30 miles) in the advance south of Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine.

“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.

Ukraine troops raise flag over railway hub as advance threatens to turn into rout

Ukrainian officials shared photos showing troops raising the nation's flag over the city housing the main railway hub that has supplied Russian forces in northeastern Ukraine, as a collapse in Russia's frontline threatened to turn into a rout.

Natalia Popova, adviser to the head of the Kharkiv regional council, shared photos on Saturday of troops in front of Kupiansk city hall with a message: "Kupiansk is Ukraine. Glory to the armed forces of Ukraine".

The city, where rail lines into eastern Ukraine converge on the trunk line from Russia, would be the most important prize yet in a stunning Ukrainian breakthrough this week, after Russia's frontline crumbled near the city of Kharkiv.

Five more grain ships leave Ukraine under Istanbul deal 

Five more ships have left Ukrainian ports under the Istanbul grain export deal, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said.

A ministry statement on Saturday did not disclose the ships’ points of departure or destinations.

 Plans have also been finalized for inspections of 12 ships on Saturday, the ministry added.

German foreign minister arrives in Kiev for surprise visit

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Kiev on a surprise visit, which she said was to demonstrate Berlin's unwavering support for Ukraine in its battle against Russia.

"I have travelled to Kiev today to show that they can continue to rely on us. That we will continue to stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary with deliveries of weapons, and with humanitarian and financial support," Baerbock said in a statement on Saturday.

It is her second trip to Ukraine and comes a week after Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal's trip to Berlin where he had repeated Kiev's call for weapons.

Report: Ukraine reconstruction to cost $349B

Rebuilding Ukraine following the devastation caused by the Russian offensive will cost an estimated $349 billion, according to a report.

But the figure, which totals 1.5 times the size of the Ukrainian economy, is considered a minimum and is expected to grow in the coming months as the war continues, according to the joint assessment by the government of Ukraine, the European Commission, and the World Bank.

Physical damage alone inflicted since the offensive in late February through June 1 already totaled $97 billion, the report said.

Zelenskyy: Ukraine's army retakes 30 settlements in northeast

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country's forces had seized back control of 30 settlements from Russian troops in the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

"As of today, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have liberated and taken control of more than 30 settlements in Kharkiv" region, he said.

Zelenskyy: Turkish drone maker to build Ukraine factory

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has met with the head of Turkish defence firm Baykar and said the company would set up a factory in Ukraine to build unmanned aerial vehicles.

Baykar's Bayraktar TB2 drone has been hugely popular in Ukraine, where it helped destroy many Russian artillery systems and armoured vehicles.

"We discussed the details of the construction of the Baykar factory in Ukraine and the production of new goods using Ukrainian components," Zelenskyy said in an online post after meeting Baykar Chief Executive Haluk Bayraktar in Kiev.

A video posted online showed Zelenskyy giving Bayraktar the Ukrainian Order of Merit. In return, Zelenskyy received a traditional embroidered Ukrainian shirt featuring a drone.

US issues guidance over proposed Russian oil price cap 

The US Treasury has issued new guidance on a proposed Western price cap on Russian oil exports, saying that maritime services providers would not be held liable for false pricing information provided by buyers and sellers of Russian crude.

The Treasury said in the guidance that those purchasing Russian crude at prices above the cap who knowingly provide false documentation could be subject to investigations for sanctions violations.

It said governments participating in the cap would share such information to help police it.

The price cap plan agreed by G7 wealthy nations calls for participating countries to deny insurance, finance, brokering, navigation and other services to oil cargoes priced above a yet-to-be-determined price cap on crude and oil products.

For live updates from Friday (September 9), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies