After months of fighting in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Russian troops were soundly defeated and reported to be retreating from Kharkiv in what is seen to be another significant victory for the Ukrainians. Kharkiv, which is just 50 miles from Belgorod in Russia, is one of the most heavily bombed areas in Ukraine, following the southern city of Mariupol.

In the village of Ruska Lozova, Kharkiv, the Ukrainian Territorial Defense, the national guard, and the Ukrainian army were trying to push the Russians back to the border. It was recently liberated last April, a significant development at that time as it remained vital to the Ukrainian defense. Fierce fighting had been going on in Kharkiv, with each side trying to target each other’s artillery, tanks, and other military installations so troops could advance forward. It seems that the Ukrainians have won this decisive battle, which may signal the Russians to rethink their decisions about this invasion as they continue to struggle on the battlefield.

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Russians were observed to be pulling out from the frontlines in Kharkiv, and it was focusing on guarding their supply routes. “The enemy’s main efforts are focused on ensuring the withdrawal of its units from the city of Kharkiv,” a spokesperson for the Ukrainian General Staff said on Saturday. However, the Russians were still reportedly launching mortar, artillery, and airstrikes in the province in a delaying action to prevent their columns from being overrun by Ukrainian forces.

The Institute for the Study of War also reported that the Russians had “likely” abandoned their objective of completing the encirclement of Ukrainian forces from Donetsk City to Izyum. They were also reportedly shifting efforts to Luhansk.

“Russian units have generally not attempted to hold ground against counterattacking Ukrainian forces over the past several days, with a few exceptions,” they said. “Ukraine thus appears to have won the Battle of Kharkiv. Ukrainian forces prevented Russian troops from encircling, let alone seizing Kharkiv, and then expelled them from around the city, as they did to Russian forces attempting to seize Kyiv.”

Ukrainian troops were able to push the Russians back to the border at this specific point, marking the defeat of the Russian forces in Kharkiv (Illia Ponomarenko). Source:
Ukrainian troops were able to push the Russians back to the border at this specific point, marking the defeat of the Russian forces in Kharkiv (Illia Ponomarenko/Twitter)

“Reports from western officials and a video from an officer of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) indicate that Moscow is focused on conducting an orderly withdrawal and prioritizing getting Russians back home before allowing proxy forces to enter Russia rather than trying to hold its positions near the city.”

As a result of this development, the Ukrainians now control territory up until the Siverskyi Donets River some 25 miles from Kharkiv. SOFREP recently reported that an entire Russian armored column trying to cross the Siverskyi Donets River was destroyed by Ukrainian Forces in an embarrassing defeat for the Russian forces. An estimated 100 armored vehicles and tanks were reported to be destroyed in the failed river crossing, revealing numerous weaknesses the Russian forces are encountering in Donbas. In this case, their fault was not having ample air reconnaissance of the area as a Ukrainian armored formation was reported to be just 10 miles away that had self-propelled artillery that could’ve blasted the Russians away while they were crossing the river.

New information has been uncovered on Twitter from a certain member of the Ukrainian military named “Maxim,” who claimed that he was a military engineer and an EOD officer. He also claims that he was one of the operators who coordinated the attack on the Russians in the Siverskyi Donets River. According to him, they received intelligence of the armored column trying to cross and did some reconnaissance work in the areas of Hryhorivka and Bilohorivka.

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The environment was reported to be foggy because of forest fire and smoke grenades used by the Russians. But, they managed to hear motorboats operating on the river suggesting the presence of a pontoon bridge and confirmed it with the use of drones. Heavy artillery then engaged the Russian forces. He reported that some 1,500 Russian troops were dead as they tried to cross the river and encircle Lysychansk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in good spirits upon hearing the news of the Russians pulling back from Kharkiv and praised the Ukrainian forces for doing so. “The gradual liberation of the Kharkiv region proves that we will not leave anyone to the enemy,” he said. As of writing, the Ukrainians have retaken six towns or villages. While the Ukrainians are gaining ground, the situation still remains difficult, with Zelensky admitting that the Russian forces were still trying to come out as “somewhat victorious.”

“Step by step,” he said. “We are forcing the occupants to leave the Ukrainian land.”

Former Ukrainian Ambassador to Austria Olexander Scherba tweeted that the Ukrainian forces have reached the Russian border, indicating that the Russians have been soundly defeated in Kharkiv. A video has recently surfaced online, which shows that the 227th battalion of the 127th Territorial Defense Brigade had indeed reached the Russian border.

“Mr. President, we reached Ukraine’s state border with the enemy state. Mr. President, we made it!”