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Ukraine fights back; recaptures over 3,000 sq km from Russia. Will this be a turning point in the war?

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraSep 12, 2022 | 10:47

Ukraine fights back; recaptures over 3,000 sq km from Russia. Will this be a turning point in the war?

Ukrainian servicemen ride atop of an armored vehicle on a road in Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo)

Today, September 12, marks the 200th day since Russia invaded Ukraine. After facing severe casualties and massive destruction in the last 6 months, Ukraine seems to have made a stunning comeback in the war by reclaiming many territories in the south and eastern parts of the country.

Ukrainian servicemen prepare to fire at Russian positions from a US-supplied M777 howitzer in Kharkiv region. (AP Photo)

The counterattack which began during the last days of August, first targetted the southern region of Kherson. But just as Moscow redirected attention and troops there, Ukraine launched another offensive in the northeast, near Kharkiv, reported AP.

Ukraine says its forces have retaken over 3,000 sq km during the counter-offensive in eastern Ukraine. Frustrated by the loss, Russia has attacked power stations and other infrastructure. Ukraine's second-largest city of Kharkiv was without power on Sunday night after the attacks.

 

Ukraine's counter-offensive: The counter-offensive from Ukraine has led to Russia's worst defeat since it lost control of Kyiv in March. Ukraine on Sunday said it has recaptured more than 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 square miles) this month from Russian troops in the northeast.

  • "Since the beginning of September, more than 3,000 square kilometres have been returned to Ukrainian control. Around Kharkiv, we have begun to advance not only in the south and east, but also to the north. We are 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the border," Ukrainian General Valeriy Zaluzhny said.
  • Ukraine forces' rapid advance has led to Russia abandoning Izium in Kharkiv province. Reuters also reported that thousands of Russian soldiers abandoned ammunition stockpiles and equipment as they fled.
  • A map of Ukraine's Kharkiv region, which the Russian Defence Ministry presented on Sunday at its daily briefing, showed that the Russian army had withdrawn en masse from the region, reported AFP.

Latest updates: Ukraine has accused the Russian military of attacking civilian infrastructure in response to a rapid offensive by Ukrainian troops.

In Sunday night's missile attacks by Russia, the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions have suffered the maximum damage. Ukrainian officials said Russia hit Kharkiv TEC-5, the country's second-biggest heat and power plant, reported AP.

In an address to the nation, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the forces have liberated hundreds of cities and villages which includes Balaklia, Izyum and Kupiansk.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shut down: As a safety measure, operations at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant have been fully stopped. After the power plant was reconnected to Ukraine's electricity grid, engineers shut down its last operational reactor.

This satellite image shows the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces. (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

The fear that the fight around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, could lead to a major nuclear disaster had increased in the last few weeks.The area around the nuclear power plant has come under heavy shelling. The plant has been under Russia's control since March.

The death and destruction so far: The latest UN figures found 5,514 civilian deaths in Ukraine since Russia invaded the country. Ukraine's military chief has said nearly 9,000 soldiers have died in the war and US intelligence estimates that some 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed so far in Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine has also led to one of the worst refugee crises ever. More than 6.7 people have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded their country. The UNHCR has registered nearly 11 million border crossings out of Ukraine.

A Ukrainian soldier takes a selfie as an artillery system fires in the front line in Donetsk region on September 3. (AP Photo)

What's next? With Ukraine reclaiming its lost territories, the course of the war seems to be changing drastically. But even as the winter is nearing, Russia will try to reclaim the areas it has lost.

A fifth of the country is still under Russia's control and Ukraine would like to first take complete control of the areas it has liberated.

Last updated: September 12, 2022 | 10:47
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