Ukrainian forces have attacked the Russian-held eastern town of Balakliia in the Kharkiv area, according to a senior pro-Moscow separatist leader, while Ukrainian officials remain cautious about the progress of a counter-offensive.
Serhiy Gaidai, Governor of the Luhansk area, told Ukrainian television that a “The counter-attack has begun, and… our soldiers are having some success. Let’s just leave it at that “.
Ukraine’s military stated in its daily status report on Wednesday morning that its ground troops had struck seven Russian command positions and 13 “objects of concentration of Russia’s soldiers,” but did not specify where.
It also claimed that its soldiers had repulsed Russian attacks on many towns in the eastern Donetsk area, including the vital city of Bakhmut.
Earlier on Tuesday, a presidential aide tweeted that the president will have “excellent news” on the operation in the northern Kharkiv area.
In his evening address, however, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made scant mention of operations in the Kharkiv region, but he did say five Russian cruise missiles were shot down on Tuesday, most of them in the south.
According to Western military analysts, Ukraine’s southern strategy appears to be to trap thousands of Russian troops on the west side of the broad Dnipro River and cut them off by destroying their rear supply lines.
According to Mark Hertling, a retired senior US commander of combat forces in Europe, the report of a simultaneous Ukrainian advance in Kharkiv was a signal that Russian soldiers were having trouble reinforcing throughout the front.