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Ukraine announced earlier that its forces had retaken villages from Russian troops north and northeast of Kharkiv, pressing a counter-offensive that could signal a change in the momentum of the war and jeopardize the main advance of Russia..

Tetiana Apatchenko, press officer of the 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, the main Ukrainian force in the region, in the east of the country, confirmed that Ukrainian troops had taken over the settlements of Cherkaski Tyshky, Ruski Tyshki, Borshchova and Slobozhanske, in a pocket north of Kharkiv.

Defense Ministry adviser Yuriy Saks said the successes were pushing Russian forces out of reach of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city and located in the northeast, which has been under perpetual bombardment since the start. of the war.

The military operations of the Ukrainian Armed Forces around Kharkiv, especially north and northeast of Kharkiv, are somewhat successful. The Ukrainian army was able to push these war criminals back to a line beyond the reach of their artillery.

Ukrainian President Zelenskiy also confirmed the news during his national address, while warning against expecting “some victories”.

The armed forces of our state gave us all good news from the Kharkiv region. The occupants are gradually driven out of Kharkiv.

I am grateful to all of our defenders who hold the line and show truly superhuman strength to drive out the invading army. Once the second most powerful army in the world.

But I also want to urge all of our people, and especially those in the back, not to spread excessive emotion. One should not create an atmosphere of specific moral pressure, when certain victories are expected every week and even every day.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are doing everything to liberate our land and our people. Liberate all our cities – Kherson, Melitopol, Berdyansk, Mariupol and all the others.

The counterattack near Kharkiv could signal a new phase, with Ukraine now going on the offensive after weeks in which Russia launched a massive assault without making a breakthrough.

Pushing back the Russian forces that had occupied the outskirts of Kharkiv since the start of the invasion, the Ukrainians closed in on the rear supply lines supporting the main Russian attack force further south. Neil Melvin of the think tank RUSI in London said:

They’re trying to cut in and behind the Russians to cut off the supply lines, because that’s really one of their (the Russians’) main weaknesses.

Ukrainians are approaching the Russian border. So all the gains that the Russians made early on in northeastern Ukraine are getting further and further away.

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A man rides a bicycle past a damaging BMP on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photography: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images