Russia’s army has left the Ukrainian city of Izium “and other settlements of the Kharkiv direction,” says Denis Bezsonov, a representative for “DPR”, a pro-Russian breakaway state in east Ukraine.
“Yes, we left Izium, same as several other settlements of the Kharkiv direction. Without a doubt it’s bad news. Of course it’s all due to mistakes by our top brass. Please do not look for any any hidden meaning behind this. There was no dirty deal or betrayal, we’re simply doing the best we can,” he wrote on Telegram.
Izium is approximately 70 km (43.5 miles) away from Kupiansk, which was liberated by Ukraine earlier today. A picture posted by Natalia Popova, a local official, shows Ukrainian soldiers posing before the Kupiansk town council, Agentstvo has managed to confirm this.
“Unfortunately, there is no denying that we have failed to contain the enemy at Kupiansk. The retreating troops have taken up defence on the eastern bank of the Oskol alongside the reserves. Things are not going well in Izium, too,” Russia’s military correspondent Alexander Kots wrote on Telegram.
Neither side, however, has officially confirmed Russia’s retreat from Kupiansk as of yet. Moreover, there are reports in pro-Russian Telegram channels that Russia’s army no longer controls Lyman of Ukraine’s Donetsk region. All troops of Russia’s Emergency Ministry, Interior Ministry, as well as the National Guard, have been withdrawn from Lyman, according to Rybar. Donbass News, another Telegram channel, says that Lyman has not been surrendered, and there is combat in the outskirts of the town.
Ukraine’s President Zelensky said yesterday evening that over 30 settlements in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region had been recaptured. The occupation ‘government’ of the Kharkiv region admitted that Balakliya was ‘essentially not under control’ of pro-Russian forces earlier.