Ukraine is likely to retake the city of Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region within 72 hours, US-based think tank The Institute for the Study of War has said.
The group’s latest assessment said that Ukrainian forces had advanced to within 20 kms of the city, and that retaking it would significantly worsen communication between Russian forces in the region.
“Russian rear positions in Kharkiv Oblast are now exposed to further Ukrainian advances, and Ukrainian forces will likely capture Kupyansk within the next 72 hours,” it said.
“The loss of Kupyansk and other rear areas on critical ground lines of communication will hinder Russian efforts to support offensive and defense operations, but will not completely sever Russian lines of communication to Izyum.”
The space between the Izyum and the city of Kharkiv to its northwest currently forms part of the frontline between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
Good morning and welcome to our Ukraine live blog. We’ll be bringing you all the latest updates from the conflict throughout the day.
First up, President Zelenskiy has said Ukraine has recaptured more than 1000 sq km of territory over the last week.
It follows a surprise counter-offensive in the north-eastern Kharkiv region and sustained pressure on Russian forces in the south.
Speaking in his nightly address on Thursday, Zelenskiy said: “Our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements. And today this movement continued, there are new results.
“In total, more than a thousand square kilometres of our territory have been liberated since 1 September.”
He went on to thank everyone serving in the armed forces and the brigades that had retaken territory.
Zelenskiy also acknowledged $675m in military aid announced yesterday by the US and the $1bn Ukraine is set to receive from a package put together by a number of European countries.
“Each of these steps of our partners has a real impact on the strength of our state and the whole of Europe in defence against Russian terror,” he said.