US aided Kiev with offensive, Izyum, Kharkov losses minimal: Exclusive
Russian military sources tell Al Mayadeen about the tactical dimensions of the Russian withdrawal from Kherson.
The areas taken by the Ukrainian forces in the Kharkov region are "nearly abandoned", and Kiev's claims of completely taking over Izyum are false, Russian military sources told Al Mayadeen's correspondent on Sunday.
"The Ukrainian forces took over abandoned or nearly abandoned towns in the Kharkov region on the outskirts of Balakliya, Izyum," Al Mayadeen's correspondent said, quoting Russian military sources.
"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," our correspondent added.
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 Ukrainian forces shelled a bridge connecting the two halves of the city to complicate the supply lines for the Russian armed forces," the sources added.
Footage from the battleground has shown Ukrainian armored vehicles shelled by the Russians and forced to withdraw from Pesky after sustaining hefty losses.
Tanques Ucranianos destruídos em Pesky, visão de perto dos destroços pic.twitter.com/8DgJ7cS10w— Militar Sem Hype (@MilitarSemHype) September 11, 2022
"The city of Balakliy is nearly completely surrounded by the Ukrainian forces, but the Russian forces are still fighting in it," they said. "The city of Izyum is still largely held by the Russian forces, and it is also undergoing fierce battles."
The Ukrainian forces "are demining the minefields previously set up at the entrance of Vugledar, the Donetsk People's Republic, which indicates that they are preparing for an offensive."
"The Russian forces deduced that the Ukrainian side is trying to drag them into the battle of Kharkov to wage the main offensive from the side of Vugledar," they noted.
"US generals effectively helped with planning for this operation, and they offered generous intelligence to the Ukrainian army among whose ranks thousands of mercenaries are fighting," Russian sources told Al Mayadeen.
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.
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.
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 by more than two-fold.