Ukrainian troops sit atop an armed vehicle in Kharkiv Ukrainian troops sit atop an armed vehicle in Kharkiv 

Ukrainian forces ‘recapture key eastern areas from Russia'

Officials say Ukrainian forces have entered the key eastern town of Kupiansk as their rapid counter-attack in the Kharkiv region makes further gains.

By Stefan J. Bos

Video footage purportedly showed Ukrainian soldiers entering Kupiansk early Sunday morning local time. Sitting on a military vehicle, they appeared to celebrate as Kupiansk is a vital supply hub for Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War described the city as Russia's "key logistical node" in the region. It says its recapture would "severely degrade" Russian ground lines of communication.

Another security map shows that Kupiansk is where major rail lines in north-east Ukraine converge, meaning its loss could significantly hinder Russian supply lines.

Kupiansk initially fell a week after February's invasion, though residents were never happy with Russian troops invading their town.

Earlier this year, a crowd, some carrying Ukrainian flags, could be seen attacking and trying to stop a Jeep with a painted Russian military Z sign.

It was recorded by a teacher named Liana and posted on social media.

Pushing to take more territory

Ukraine also appears to have retaken the critical city of Izyum. Kupiansk and Izyum lie southeast of Kharkiv city in the eastern Kharkiv region. It is here where Ukrainian forces have launched a significant counteroffensive in recent days.

Authorities say communities in recaptured areas are coming "back to life." But they acknowledged that many have seen their homes and infrastructure "destroyed."

In recent Ukrainian government forces reportedly retook some 700 square kilometers (270 square miles) of territory, and more than 30 settlements were recaptured in the Kharkiv region alone.

Ukraine's military said the "de-mining of the area" is underway. They claim that police have recorded "numerous crimes" by Russian forces and that Ukrainian authorities try to support populations suffering amid massive destruction.

Moscow has not confirmed that it lost much territory but denied wrongdoing.

And Ukraine still faces major battles ahead of winter when temperatures often drop dramatically. Kyiv says Ukraine and the United States are currently negotiating a $1.5 billion package of financial aid to help Ukraine buy natural gas to help residents keep warm in the war-torn nation.

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10 September 2022, 16:59