Ukraine is making progress in retaking territory outside of Kharkiv

Ukrainian troops retook the town of Pytomnyk outside of Kharkiv in the north-east of the country on Wednesday, the latest in a string of victories that have brought Ukrainian troops within miles of the Russian border.

The liberation of Pytomnyk, a town some 24 km from the Russian border, comes a day after Ukrainian authorities announced they would recapture four more villages outside Kharkiv.

The combined counterattacks have effectively pushed Russian artillery out of range of Ukraine’s second-largest city, while putting pressure on Russia’s border and supply lines.

“We are making progress toward Kharkiv, where we are steadily pushing back the enemy and liberating population centers,” Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, deputy chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Ukrainian General Staff, said on Wednesday.

Ukraine has also brought the fight back to Snake Island – the Black Sea base seized in the war’s opening act, where Ukrainian troops famously told Russian cruiser Moskva to “go fk [it]self.”

A vehicle lies in ruins after Russian troops attacked Orikhiv in eastern Ukraine.
A vehicle lies in ruins after Russian troops attacked Orikhiv in eastern Ukraine.

According to the UK MoD, Ukrainian forces have targeted Russian air defenses on the island, as well as Russian supply ships, in a bid to disrupt Russia’s attempt to control Ukraine’s coast.

Ukrainian authorities also reported that they shot down a cruise missile heading for the historic port of Odessa, which had come under heavy Russian bombardment in recent days.

Russian missiles fell outside of Zaporizhia, the city on the Dnipro River to which many residents of the devastated city of Mariupol have fled. There were no immediate reports of casualties after the strike.

Russian attacks inside Mariupol continued as the last Ukrainian holdouts pleaded for an extraction.

Ukraine map
A map of Ukraine in the midst of the Russian invasion.
New York Post

The messages come as:

  • Top US intelligence officials warn that Russia may use increasingly “unpredictable and drastic” tactics in its war against Ukraine – with the ever-present threat of nuclear war against the West.
  • The bodies of thousands of Russian soldiers were piled in a “man-high” heap to hide the true extent of the casualties, according to a wiretapped phone call released by Ukraine’s security services.
  • Czech President Milos Zeman has approved a request by 103 Czechs to join Ukraine’s armed forces to help them fight Russian aggression. Czech citizens are generally barred from serving in foreign armies, which is a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison.
A view shows fire on Zmiinyi (Snake) Island, Ukraine, in this screenshot from drone video.
Drone footage of Zmiinyi (Snake) Island in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ground Forces/REUTERS

Meanwhile, Ukraine on Wednesday announced plans for its first war crimes trial against a captured Russian soldier.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova announced charges against 21-year-old Russian sergeant Vadin Shyshimarin for allegedly gunning down an unarmed 62-year-old civilian riding a bicycle in late February, four days after the war began.

Shyshimarin faces up to 15 years in prison under Ukrainian law.

The attorney general’s office said it is investigating over 10,700 allegations of Russian war crimes and has identified more than 600 suspects.

In the east, the operator of Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline cut off the flow of Russian gas to western Europe, claiming that Russian-backed separatist forces in Donbass were diverting supplies. The disruption is the most drastic impact on the flow of Russian energy to Europe since the beginning of the war.

With mail wires Ukraine is making progress in retaking territory outside of Kharkiv


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