War in Ukraine: maps showing territory recovered by Ukraine after “lightning” offensive | Ukraine and Russia

The Ukrainian army announced on Sunday (11/9) the reconquest of territory equivalent to 3,000 km² during a rapid offensive against Russian troops in the north, east and south of the country – triple the area recaptured in the previous 24 hours.

The BBC was unable to independently verify the information (as journalists were denied access to the battlefronts), but the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the withdrawal of its forces from three key cities.

If the result is confirmed, the pace of the counterattack seems to have caught the Russians off guard.

Read what is known about the current situation below.

Ukrainian counteroffensive in the north and east

Map shows recent advances in Ukraine — Photo: BBC

On Thursday night (9/8), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the recovery of the equivalent of 1,000 km², as shown in the map above.

By Saturday night (9/10), the number had increased to 2,000 km², and Zelensky claimed that more than 30 villages had been “liberated” in the Kharkiv region. One of the top Russian officials in charge of the Russian occupation of Kharkiv admitted that Ukrainian forces had won a “significant victory”.

Until Sunday (11/9), according to the Reuters news agency, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, declared by Telegram that his country’s forces had regained control of more than 3,000 km² since the beginning of the month. .

The significant advance, if confirmed, shows that Ukrainians have tripled their territorial gains in just over 48 hours.

The counterattack in the east allowed Ukrainian troops to enter key cities such as Izyum and Kupiansk, hitherto controlled by Russia.

If confirmed, this would be the most significant frontline shift since Russia withdrew from areas around Kiev in April.

Map shows recent advances in Ukraine — Photo: BBC

The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the withdrawal of its forces from Izyum (as seen in the map above) and Kupiansk so that troops could “regroup” in territory controlled by Moscow-backed separatists.

The ministry also confirmed the withdrawal of troops from a third key city, Balaklyia, in this case on the grounds of “strengthening efforts” on the battlefront in the Donetsk region.

Kupiansk served as Russia’s main supply center on the eastern front of the conflict. The loss of Izyum, in turn, which Moscow spent more than a month trying to take at the start of the war, would be seen as a major humiliation for President Vladimir Putin.

The head of the Russian-installed administration in Kharkiv recommended that the Russian population evacuate to Russia “to save lives”.

The daily report of the Russian Ministry of Defense on Sunday (11/9), however, according to BBC Russia, did not provide information on the withdrawal of troops from the region.

UK defense officials warn that fighting continues outside these cities.

Ukrainian conquests in the south

Map shows recent advances in Ukraine — Photo: BBC

The international community’s attention was focused on a long-awaited Ukrainian advance in the area near the southern city of Kherson, as seen above.

This was the first city taken by Russian forces after the invasion, and recently Ukrainian soldiers tried to retake the territory using new long-range artillery.

Kherson is of strategic importance to Russia if the country decides to attack the Ukrainian port of Odessa and is the main supplier of water to Russian-controlled Crimea.

Analysts believe that Russia has redirected some of its most experienced troops to defend the city.

Nataliya Gumenyuk, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Army’s southern command, said they had advanced “between two and several dozen kilometers” along that front.

Russian forces fighting on the southern front are said to have entrenched themselves in defensive positions and that Ukrainian troops have faced heavy resistance there since the start of the offensive.

What is the scenario at the moment?

Map shows current situation in Ukraine — Photo: BBC

Zelensky hailed the advance into Kharkiv province as a turning point in the six-month conflict, and said winter could bring quicker conquests of territory if Kiev had access to more destructive weapons.

The latest developments are also seen as a sign that the Ukrainian army has the capacity to retake occupied areas – crucial as the country continues to ask allies for military support.

In an interview with the Financial Times, however, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov warned of the potential for a Russian counterattack.

“A counter-offensive frees up territory, after that you have to control it and be ready to defend it,” he said. “Of course, we have to worry, this war has worried us for years.”

Russian forces still hold about a fifth of Ukraine – few believe the Ukrainian side’s recent advance will bring a quick end to the war.

This text was published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional-62872585

About Abhishek Pratap

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