Ukraine Declares VICTORY in Battle of Kharkiv as Putin’s Forces Repulse From Country’s Second City

UKRANE has declared victory in the Battle of Kharkov as Vladimir Putin’s forces are driven back from the country’s second city.

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

Kharkiv mayor said the battle for the city was now over

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Kharkiv mayor said the battle for the city was now overCredit: Rex
People are slowly returning to Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov . said

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People are slowly returning to Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov . saidCredit: Getty

“There were no Russian troops in the city of Kharkov. Russian tanks and armored fighting vehicles were knocked out by Ukrainian fighters,” he told the BBC.

“And thanks to the efforts of the territorial defense of Kharkov and the Ukrainian armed forces, the Russians have now withdrawn far from the city – towards the border.”

The victory means Ukrainian artillery can now pose a threat to the city of Vovchansk, which has a major highway and railway supplying troops in Donbas.

However, the retreating Russians are said to be focused on guarding supply routes and continue to launch artillery and air strikes over Donetsk in an effort 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 was won — said President Volodymyr Zelensky’s troops prevented Russian troops from encircling Kharkov and expelled them from surrounding areas.

Regional Governor Oleh Sinegubov said via Telegram that there had been no shelling in the city in the past day.

He added that Ukraine launched a counter-offensive near the strategic city of Izyum, which is currently in Russia’s hands.

Fighting was also fierce on the Siversky Donets River near the city of Severodonetsk, where Ukraine launched counter-attacks 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 about 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers,” he said.

Putin’s forces suffered heavy losses when Ukraine launched a surprise attack that destroyed a Russian pontoon bridge they used 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 pontoon bridge and half a dozen abandoned military vehicles.

In all, Russia lost more than 70 tanks, trucks and armored cars in four days trying to cross the river, according to the Ukrainian research site InformNapalm.

The withdrawal comes nearly a month after Putin’s exhausted and depleted forces were forced to withdraw from Kiev and were later beaten back from Mykolaiv by an unhinged band of territorial defense forces and civilians after “massive” losses.

A liberated Kharkiv is a major victory for Ukraine and heralds a new long-term phase of the war, said the country’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

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

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

Russian troops continue to launch artillery strikes as they retreat

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Russian troops continue to launch artillery strikes as they retreatCredit: Getty
Putin's troops have been pushed back to the Russian border

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

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