Russia strikes major power station in Kharkiv, causing massive power outages, after Ukrainian forces rout

“Russian terrorists remain terrorists”

Ukrainian forces “inflicted a major operational defeat on Russia, recapturing almost all of Kharkiv Oblast in a swift counter-offensive” which, in the space of just over a week, pushed Russian troops on the run out of 1,160 square miles of previously occupied territory, the Institute for the Study of Warfare said Sunday night. The recapture of Izyum, which Russia was using as a key operational and logistical center for its eastern campaign, “ended the prospect that Russia could achieve its stated goals” of capturing Ukraine’s Donbass region.

The Russian Defense Ministry acknowledged that its forces had left Kharkiv province, supposedly to “regroup”, but Ukrainians in the newly liberated villages described a rout, The Washington Post reports, with Russian soldiers fleeing “by all means”, including “on stolen bicycles, disguised as locals”, having left behind what appear to be large stockpiles of weapons, from rifles to tanks and ammunition stores.

Russia responded on Sunday with a missile attack on the TEC-5 power and thermal power plant in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest, knocking out electricity to around nine million people in Kharkiv and Donetsk provinces and in parts of Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia and Sumy.

Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov called the strike on civilian infrastructure “revenge of the Russian aggressor for the successes of our army”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zekensky said “Russian terrorists remain terrorists”, with “the sole purpose of leaving people without light and heat”.

The Independent Ukraine‘s Oleksiy Sorokin suggested the strike wasn’t tactically brilliant, Tweeter that “Russia fired 12 missiles, worth a total of nearly $100 million…to knock out electricity in four Ukrainian regions for several hours”.

“It is too early to speak in too triumphant terms,” as Russia has the capacity to retaliate and still controls around a fifth of Ukrainian territory, writes retired Australian Major-General Mick Ryan. But “the current Russian rout is a significant and historic loss for the Russian military”, leaving Moscow with “very few (if any) good choices in Ukraine”.

“Ukraine’s rapid advance is helping its cause on many fronts, starting with a turnaround in morale in its favor,” The Wall Street Journal reports. “Ukrainian commanders must now assess how difficult it is to move forward,” working to “exploit their success on the battlefield” without overrunning their supply lines.

“A counter-offensive frees up territory, and after that you have to control it and be ready to defend it,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said. FinancialTimes.

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