ASSESSMENTS

What Ukraine's Victory in Kharkiv Means for Russia's War

MIN READSep 14, 2022 | 21:17 GMT

Local residents gather on a square in Izyum, eastern Ukraine, on Sept. 14, 2022.

Local residents gather on a square in Izyum, eastern Ukraine, on Sept. 14, 2022.

(JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukraine's counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region will relieve the threat to Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region, increase calls in Russia for mobilization and escalation of the war, and fortify the West's strategy of pressuring Russia while providing military aid to Ukraine. On Sept. 5, Ukrainian forces began a new offensive against Russia with a breakthrough south of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city. Ukrainian forces subsequently conducted one of the fastest advances since the opening weeks of the invasion, advancing well over 70 kilometers (44 miles) in multiple directions in just three days and threatening thousands of Russian troops near the strategic city of Izyum with encirclement. By Sept. 9, Russian forces began retreating to new defensive positions on the east of the Oskil River. Russia's defense ministry labeled the apparent retreat as merely a ''regrouping'' in order to ''intensify its efforts in the Donetsk region'' and thereby further the...

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