Russia’s forces sieged Izium nearly six months ago, and now the country has confirmed that all forces have now been pulled from the northeastern Ukrainian city. The new Ukrainian stronghold marks more rapid expansion into the northeast, a foray into the beginning of a new phase in the ongoing war.
Institute for the study of War reports:
Ukrainian forces have captured an estimated 2,500 square kilometers in Kharkiv Oblast in the Kharkiv area counteroffensive as of September 9. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzhnyi stated on September 8 that Ukrainian forces liberated over 1,000 square kilometers between September 1-8 – a day before Ukrainian forces reached the southern approach to Kupyansk and the Oskil River on September 9. Ukrainian forces are likely clearing pockets of disorganized Russian forces caught in the rapid Ukrainian advance to Kupyansk, Izyum, and the Oskil River, given the influx of observed pictures of Russian prisoners of war in the past 48 hours.
The hasty retreat likely means Ukraine has captured a lot of ammo, supplies and weapons.
The Kremlin is rushing resources to the Kharkiv City-Izyum line in an attempt to halt Ukrainian advances after Ukrainian forces achieved remarkable operational surprise. The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Kremlin wires published footage of Russian military convoys reportedly en route to reinforce Kupyansk, Izyum, and the general Kharkiv direction but did not acknowledge Ukrainian successes in the area.
The Russian collapse in the East will also make it more difficult to get the forces and resources to defend Kherson.
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