Russia's Defense Ministry announced Saturday that it was withdrawing its troops from two areas of Ukraine's eastern Kharkiv.
Ukraine's retaliation since last week has forced Russian forces in the region to retreat. The news of the Ukrainian army getting a clear lead in the south of Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, could become another significant success for the Ukrainian army in the war. They had achieved great success by thwarting the Russian attempt to capture the capital Kyiv at the beginning of the war.
According to a news agency called AP news, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that troops would be redeployed from Balaklia and Izium areas to eastern Donetsk. Izium was a major base for the Russian military in the Kharkiv region. Earlier this week, videos shared on social media showed residents of Balaklia cheering as Ukrainian troops arrived. The troop withdrawal claim to focus on Donetsk parallels the pretext given by Russia earlier this year for withdrawing its forces from the Kyiv region.
Then the Russian army failed to capture the capital Kyiv. Whereas earlier on Saturday, Ukrainian officials claimed a significant victory in the Kharkiv region, saying their troops had cut off the Russian army's vital supply line to Izium. It was also claimed that the city of Kupyansk was taken back from Russian troops, a city on the Izium supply line. Britain's Defense Ministry said on Saturday that Ukrainian troops had advanced 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of Kharkiv. The Russian army is increasingly isolated around Izium. The British military said the loss of Kupiyansk would significantly impact Russian supply lines.