Ukrainian officials were accused of accusing retreating Russian forces in launching retaliatory strikes on civilian infrastructure. This included a thermal power plant in Kharkiv that caused widespread blackouts, according to authorities in Kyiv.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, President of Ukraine, tweeted that there were no military facilities and that the goal was to “deprive peoples of light & warmth”.
Moscow claims that its forces do not deliberately target civilians.
Zelenskiy described Ukraine’s offensive in six-month-old conflict as a breakthrough and suggested that the winter could bring more territorial gains for Kyiv if it received stronger weapons.
In what was the most devastating defeat suffered by Moscow’s forces since March when they were driven from the capital Kyiv’s outskirts, thousands of Russian soldiers fled Izium, where they used it as a logistic hub, leaving behind ammunition and equipment.
General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi (the chief commander of Ukraine) said that the armed forces have regained control over more than 3,000 km (1,158 miles) since the beginning of the month.
Some pro-war commentators and Russian nationalists were angered by Moscow’s near total silence about the defeat. On Sunday, 11 September, some called for President Vladimir Putin’s immediate actions to secure victory in the war.
Zelenskiy stated late Sunday night that Russian attacks had caused a complete blackout in Kharkiv, Donetsk, and partial blackouts within the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions.
Telegram: Valentyn Reznichenko, Dnipropetrovsk Governor, wrote that “they are unable to reconcile their selves to defeats on a battlefield.”
Kyrylo Tymoshenko posted a Telegram image of a burning power station, but said that power had been restored to some areas.
Ihor Terekhov, Kharkiv Mayor, described attacks on infrastructure in Kharkiv as “cynical vengeance” for the victory of Ukrainian troops at front, especially in Kharkiv.
Zelenskiy sees Ukraine’s gains as important politically as he tries to keep Europe united behind Ukraine, supplying weapons and cash. This is despite the fact that Europe faces an energy crisis this winter due to cuts in Russian gas supplies.
Zelenskiy stated that the Ukrainian forces would continue to advance.
In a CNN interview, he stated that “We won’t be standing still” in Kyiv. “We will slowly, steadily move forward.”
Oleksii Reznikov, Defence Minister, stated that Ukraine must secure its retaken territory to prevent a Russian counterattack on stretched Ukrainian supply line. According to him, if the Ukrainian forces advance too far, they could be attacked by new Russian troops.
He said that the offensive went far better than expected and described it as “a snowball rolling down a hill”.
He said, “It’s an indication that Russia can be destroyed.”
Oleh Zhdanov, a Kyiv-based military analyst, said that the gains could lead to a push into Luhansk area, which Russia captured at the beginning July.
He stated that “if you look at the map it is logically to assume the offensive will develop towards Svatove-Starobelsk and Sievierodonetsk- Lysychansk.”
TASS reported that the head of Russia’s administration at Kharkiv advised residents to flee the area and to leave Russia on Saturday (10/09/). Witnesses reported traffic jams as people fled Russian-held territory.
Washington seemed to adopt a cautious public position, with the Pentagon referring to Reuters on Thursday (8 September) Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments about Kyiv’s “encouraging” battlefield successes.
The British defence ministry stated on Sunday that fighting continues around Izium, Kupiansk and the city of Kupiansk. This is the only rail hub providing Russia’s frontline across northeastern Ukraine. It has since been retaken.
NUCLEAR REACTOR TURNS OFF
The war has entered its 200th day. Ukraine shut down Sunday’s last reactor at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. This was to prevent a disaster as fighting continues nearby.
Russia and Ukraine accuse one another of shelling around Zaporizhzhia, a Russian-held plant. This could lead to radiation release.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a backup power line was restored to the plant. This provided the electricity that the plant needed to shut down while protecting against a meltdown.
In a telephone conversation on Sunday, Macron, the French president, told Putin that Russian troops had occupied the plant. This was the reason for its security being compromised. According to a Kremlin statement, Putin blamed Ukrainian forces.
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