Ukraine keeps initiative, claims it reached Russian border

Sep 12, 2022, 1:06 AM | Updated: 4:55 am
Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters put out the fire after a Russian rocket attack hit a...

Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters put out the fire after a Russian rocket attack hit an electric power station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. The Kharkiv and Donetsk regions have been completely de-energised in the rocket attack.(AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)

(AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine kept the counteroffensive momentum in its war against Russia going Monday, saying it liberated one village after another and claiming that in one region it pushed the invaders back right up to the border in a lightning military move that stunned many.

“In some areas of the front, our defenders reached the state border with the Russian Federation,” said the regional governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov. Russian troops crossed the border in the region on Feb. 24, the first day of the invasion.

Russia acknowledged the military developments by saying it was regrouping. As throughout the war, military claims were hard to verify independently.

After Sunday’s attacks by Russia on power stations and other infrastructure that knocked out electricity in many place across Ukraine, Kyiv authorities also said that electric power and water supplies have been restored to some 80 percent in the Kharkiv region.

“You are heroes!!!, wrote Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov early in the morning on Telegram, highlighting the ebullient mood in the nation that has endured more than 200 days of war and occupation. “Thanks to everyone who did everything possible on this most difficult night for Kharkiv to normalize the life of the city as soon as possible.”

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said that its troops had liberated more than 20 settlements within the past day.

The buoyant mood was also captured by a defiant President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on social media late Sunday, comments that immediately went viral.

“Do you still think you can intimidate, break us, force us to make concessions? Did you really not understand anything? Don’t understand who we are? What we stand for? What we are talking about,” Zelenskyy exhorted.

“Read my lips,” he continued. “Cold, hunger, darkness and thirst for us are not as scary and deadly as your ‘friendship’ and brotherhood.'”

He added: “We will be with gas, lights, water and food… and WITHOUT you!”

Yet even amid the ebullience, the casualties kept mounting. Ukraine’s presidential office said Monday that at least four civilians were killed and 11 others were wounded in a series of Russian attacks in nine regions of the country. The U.N. Human Rights Office said last week that 5,767 civilians were killed so far.

The Russians continued shelling Nikopol across the Dnieper from the Zaporizhzhia power plant, damaging several buildings there and leaving Europe’s largest nuclear facility in a precarious position.

The turn of events and all-important reversal of initiative was backed up by international observers who warned of dire times ahead for Russian troops. It stood in sharp contrast to the first days of the war when Russian troops were moving toward Kyiv’s doorstep.

“In the face of Ukrainian advances, Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River,” the British defense ministry said Monday, signifying a major advance by Kyiv. “Ukraine has recaptured territory at least twice the size of Greater London,” it said.

The British said that likely will further deteriorate the trust Russian forces have in their commanders. Ukraine’s initial move on the southern Kherson area, drawing the attention of enemy troops there, before pouncing on more depleted Russian lines in the northeast beyond Kharkiv has been seen as a great military move so far.

Even around Kherson, Russia is struggling to bring forces across the Dnipro River to stop the Ukrainian offensive there, the British military said.

It added: “The rapid Ukrainian successes have significant implications for Russia’s overall operational design. The majority of the force in Ukraine is highly likely being forced to prioritize emergency defensive actions.”

The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said Monday that Russia likely lacks the reserve forces it needs to bolster its defenses in Ukraine.

While the war likely will stretch into next year, the institute believes that “Ukraine has turned the tide of this war in its favor” by effectively using Western-supplied weapons like the long-range HIMARS missile system and strong battlefield tactics. “Kyiv will likely increasingly dictate the location and nature of the major fighting.”

Seeking to contain its loss of momentum, Russia fired missiles at power plants and other critical infrastructure, immediately meeting with Ukrainian and U.S. criticism for centering on civilian targets.

The bombardment ignited a massive fire at a power station on Kharkiv’s western outskirts and killed at least one person. Zelenskyy denounced the “deliberate and cynical missile strikes” against civilian targets as acts of terrorism.

“Russia’s apparent response to Ukraine liberating cities and villages in the east: sending missiles to attempt to destroy critical civilian infrastructure,” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget A. Brink wrote.

Separately, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Russia-occupied south completely shut down in a bid to prevent a radiation disaster as fighting raged nearby.

___

Arhirova reported from Kyiv.

____

Follow AP war coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This handout photo taken and provided by the Imperial Household Agency of Japan shows Sri Lanka's P...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka begins crucial debt restructuring talks with China

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president said Thursday his government has started debt restructuring discussions with China, an important step toward finalizing an International Monetary Fund rescue of the island nation from its worst economic crisis. President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Thursday that the initial talks will continue after China’s Communist Party […]
1 hour ago
Destroyed Russian equipment is placed in an area at the recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesda...
Associated Press

Russian rockets slam into Ukrainian city near nuclear plant

KYIV (AP) — Seven Russian rockets slammed into residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia before dawn Thursday, killing two people and trapping at least five in the city close to Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, the governor of the mostly Russian-occupied region said. The strikes came just hours after Ukraine’s president announced that the country’s military had […]
1 hour ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge stands in the dugout after his solo home run during the first inning ...
Associated Press

Fan who caught Aaron Judge’s 62nd HR offered $2M for ball

The owner of a sports memorabilia auction house says he has offered $2 million to the fan who caught Aaron Judge’s American League-record 62nd home run. JP Cohen, president of Memory Lane Inc. in Tustin, California, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he has texted and emailed Cory Youmans, the man who caught Judge’s […]
1 day ago
FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech at the Conservative Party conference at th...
Associated Press

With division at home, UK’s Truss seeks to thaw EU relations

LONDON (AP) — After an acrimonious divorce and years of bickering, Britain’s government looks like it wants to make up with the European Union. The tax-cutting economic plans of the country’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has her feuding at home with financial markets, the opposition and chunks of her own Conservative Party. But abroad, […]
1 day ago
This undated photo provided by Merced County Sheriff's Office shows Jasleen Kaur, left, and Jasdeep...
Associated Press

‘Our worst fears’: Kidnapped baby, parents, uncle found dead

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A baby girl, her parents and uncle were found dead in a central California orchard two days after they were kidnapped at gunpoint from their business, police said. “Our worst fears have been confirmed,” Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said at a Wednesday night news conference. Warnke did not release any […]
1 day ago
A currency trader walks by the screen showing the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and Sou...
Associated Press

Asian stocks mixed on strong US hiring, OPEC oil output cuts

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed Thursday after strong U.S. hiring dampened hopes the Federal Reserve might ease off plans for interest rate hikes and the OPEC group of oil exporters agreed to output cuts to shore up prices. Tokyo and Seoul advanced while Hong Kong and Sydney declined. Chinese markets were closed for […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Ukraine keeps initiative, claims it reached Russian border