United Russia leader vows victory in Ukraine amid projected boost
The leader of the United Russia party, Dmitry Medvedev, pledged that his country will emerge victorious from the Ukraine war.
United Russia leader Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday that Russia would achieve all its stated goals in the Ukraine war after receiving a boost in support during municipal elections.
The elections were held over three consecutive days, closing at 8 p.m. on Sunday (17:00 GMT). The polls were held for Russians to elect 14 governors, regional lawmakers, and city councilors.
Medvedev said during an address at the United Russia headquarters voters' confidence was "the best guarantee that we will do everything as needed."
"The very first preliminary results, including exit polls, suggest that United Russia fared well in all regions where elections were held," he underlined.
Party leader and Russian security council deputy chairman Medvedev stressed that this gave the ruling party a "clear mandate" to carry on with the war.
"The special military operation is continuing. All the goals that the president, the commander-in-chief, set before us will be achieved," he promised.
Russians were able to vote online and in person. The electronic voting system was subjected to a massive wave of attacks, with more than 35,000 attacks being repelled, 10,000 of them in Moscow alone.
Medvedev's words came as the Russian forces in Ukraine are withdrawing from Kharkov. However, Russian military sources told Al Mayadeen's correspondent on Sunday: "The Russian forces did not have any notable presence in the towns, except for a small number of detachments dedicated to carrying out reconnaissance missions."
The Russian sources confirmed that the Ukrainian forces "have already entered the city of Kupiansk and took control of most of it, with the exception of its eastern outskirts across the river, where there are Russian support forces present to secure the withdrawal of the main forces and the evacuation of civilians."
"The Russian forces deduced that the Ukrainian side is trying to drag them into a battle in Kharkov to wage the main offensive from the side of Vugledar," they noted.
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.
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.