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Rapid Ukrainian advance: thousands of POWs reported, 300 settlements liberated

The counter-offensive in the east of Ukraine has been proving a massive success so far. Large swathes of territory have been captured and “thousands” of prisoners of war have been reportedly captured, while the occupiers and their collaborators are left scrambling to try and get out of the Ukrainian Armed Forces way before it’s too late for them to run too.

“The operation to liberate Kharkiv Region lasted several days, and it was supposed to last just as long,” said Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defence, Hanna Malyar. “And since September 6, some 3,800 square kilometres, more than 300 settlements, and about 150,000 of our people have been freed from the occupation, where they were actually held hostage.”

“They were told that there is no Ukraine anymore, that there is already another President of Ukraine, and that Ukraine will not come to their rescue. But they all waited steadfastly, believing that the Armed Forces would come and free them,” said Malyar.

The rapid advance has created a bit of a problem for the Ukrainian forces. The numbers of Russian POVs are so massive, that they can be counted in the thousands. According to the German weekly “Die Welt”, their numbers also include high-ranking officers.

The Ukrainian forces have not made official announcements as to the number of POWs taken during the counter-offensive, but according to one interview given by Oleksiy Arestovych, advisor to President Zelenskyy, the number of captured enemy combatants is growing so rapidly, that the Ukrainians “have no place to put them”.

Sadly, the Russian occupation has taken its toll and left a mark. According to city councillor Maksym Strelnykov, at least 1,000 civilian residents of the city of Izyum, an important railway junction, have died during the occupation of the city since the turn of March and April. The actual numbers are afraid to be even greater. The population of the city has been reduced to 10,000, one-fifth of the pre-war number.

70 percent of the blocks of flats have been damaged and 80 percent of city infrastructure has been destroyed, including heating and medical infrastructure, according to councillor Strelnykov and Mayor Valerii Marchenko.

According to the US Institute for the Study of War, the Ukrainians are advancing in the southern theatre of operations. Russian forces have been reported to have withdrawn for Kyselivka, a village 15 kilometres from the occupied regional capital of Kherson.

“[They] are attempting to negotiate conditions of laying down arms, under the norms of international humanitarian law,” said Natalia Humeniuk, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Southern Command. “The degree of creaking resolve and demoralisation is so high, even the commanders now realise they don’t have anywhere to go.”

Occupiers and collaborators in panic

“Successful actions of the defenders of Ukraine force the so-called authorities of the temporarily occupied Crimea and the south of our country to urgently resettle their families to the territory of the Russian Federation,” announced the Ukrainian counterintelligence (HUR) on its website.

According to HUR, employees of occupation authorities, FSB (Russian Federal Security Service), and commanders of some units have been trying to sell their homes as quietly as possible and are frantically trying to evacuate their families to Russia.

All this, while they have banned real estate transactions for the regular residents, set restrictions on the movement across the Crimean Bridge spanning the Kerch Strait, and prevent them from accessing the information on the advances made by Ukrainian forces.

“Ukraine’s military intelligence reminds [everyone] that all war criminals will be exposed and prosecuted for crimes against the civilian population of Ukraine,” wrote HUR.


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