Ukraine declares VICTORY in the Battle of Kharkiv as Putin’s forces are driven out of the country’s second city

UKRAINE declares victory in the Battle of Kharkiv as Vladimir Putin’s forces are driven out of the country’s second city.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said residents are starting to return – and the battle has been won.

The mayor of Kharkiv says the battle for the city is over

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The mayor of Kharkiv says the battle for the city is overcredit: rex
People are slowly returning to Kharkiv, said Mayor Ihor Terekhov

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People are slowly returning to Kharkiv, said Mayor Ihor TerekhovCredit: Getty

“There were no Russian troops inside the city of Kharkiv. Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles were eliminated by Ukrainian fighters,” he told the BBC.

“And due to the efforts of the territorial defense of Kharkiv and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Russians have now withdrawn away from the city – towards the border.”

The victory means that Ukrainian artillery can now threaten the city of Vovchansk, which has a major road and railway that supplies forces in Donbass.

However, the retreating Russians are focused on securing supply routes and continue to launch artillery and air strikes on Donetsk in an attempt to bring down Ukrainian forces and destroy fortifications, Ukraine’s general staff said.

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The Institute for the Study of War – a Washington-based think tank that declared the battle for Ukraine won – said that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces had prevented Russian troops from besieging Kharkiv and driving them out of surrounding areas.

Regional Governor Oleh Sinegubov said via Telegram that there were no bombings in the city on the last day.

He added that Ukraine had launched a counter-offensive near the strategic city of Izyum, currently controlled by Russia.

Fighting was also fierce on the Siversky Donets River near the city of Severodonetsk, where Ukraine launched counterattacks but failed to stop Russia’s advance, said Oleh Zhdanov, an independent Ukrainian military analyst.

“The fate of a large part of the Ukrainian army is being decided – there are around 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers,” he said.

Putin’s troops suffered heavy casualties when Ukraine launched a surprise attack that destroyed a Russian floating bridge they were using to try to cross the Donets River at Bilohorivka, Ukrainian and British officials said.

Russia’s second and third missions to cross the river also apparently ended in costly failure, with new satellite images showing another sunken floating bridge and half a dozen abandoned military vehicles.

In total, Russia lost more than 70 tanks, trucks and armored cars in four days of attempts to cross the river, according to Ukrainian investigative website InformNapalm.

The withdrawal comes nearly a month after Putin’s depleted and exhausted forces were forced to retreat from Kiev and then repulsed from Mykolaiv by a bevy of territorial defense troops and civilians after “huge” losses.

A liberated Kharkiv is a major victory for Ukraine and signals a new long-term phase of the war, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said.

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Meanwhile, President Zelenskyy said his forces were driving out the invaders and renewed calls for Europe and other allies to step up their support.

He said that today no one can predict how long the war will last and that any outcome will depend on the support provided by Europe and other allies.

Russian troops continue to launch artillery attacks as they retreat

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Russian troops continue to launch artillery attacks as they retreatCredit: Getty
Putin's troops were pushed back to the Russian border

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Putin’s troops were pushed back to the Russian borderCredit: EPA

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