Russian forces withdrawing from eastern front for 'regrouping' - MoD
Russia announces that its forces are withdrawing from Kharkov to Donetsk in order to avert large-scale losses in light of Ukrainian gains.
Russia announced on Saturday that its forces were withdrawing from the Kharkov region that lies on the eastern front after the army had the region under its control for months.
"To achieve the goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbas, a decision was made to regroup Russian troops stationed in the Balakliya and Izyum regions, to bolster efforts along the Donetsk front," the Russian ministry of defense said in a statement.
Eastern side of Kupyansk pic.twitter.com/gONvDPYDTG— ZOKA (@200_zoka) September 10, 2022
The drawdown of the Russian armed forces comes in light of the Ukrainian military saying they entered the town of Kupiansk in Kharkov.
The withdrawal from Kharkov to Donetsk, Moscow explained, was carried out over the course of a three-day operation conducted to minimize Russian losses. However, the leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said there was fierce fighting between the Russian and Ukrainian forces in the DPR.
Pushilin explained that the situation in the town of Lyman, Donetsk, was "very difficult" and that fighting had erupted in "a number of localities", particularly in the north.
destroy UA equipment🇺🇦near Kupyansk pic.twitter.com/OiyBz5YHBT— Kazablanka tape (@kazablanka1000) September 10, 2022
"We have no other choice but to keep Donbas and we'll succeed. We'll win of course," Pushilin stressed.
In light of the retreat, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov told reporters that his country's military eliminated more than 2,000 Ukrainian fighters near Balakleya and Izyum over the past 72 hours.
"Over the past three days, more than 2,000 Ukrainian and foreign militants, as well as over 100 pieces of armored hardware and artillery, have been eliminated," he said.
The ministry had released a day earlier a video showing Russian troops redeploying to the Kharkov region, which featured footage of a military convoy consisting of BTR-82A armored personnel carriers and D-20 towed gun-howitzers.
Lyman had been captured by Russia in May, it served as a hub for railways and was home to some 20,000 people before the Ukraine war started.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia's formal recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR. This led to Ukraine escalating against the republics and using various tactics to try and undermine their leadership and hurt their civilians. That same month, Ukraine shelled a hospital in Donetsk and caused the death of eight civilians in another strike on the region.
Earlier in August, Central Donetsk has been undergoing some mine clearance works that have been threatening civilians, and since Ukraine has been equipped with NATO’s Tochka-U tactical missile systems and long-range rocket systems, the number of civilian casualties in the DPR has increased beyond the double.