© Reuters. Ukrainian soldiers drive near Bakhmut, as the Russian offensive on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, September 7, 2022. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
(Reuters) – Moscow has abandoned its main bastion in northeastern Ukraine, the sudden apparent collapse of one of the main battle lines after Ukrainian forces moved to encircle the area in a shock advance.
* A Ukrainian counteroffensive this month has liberated about 2,000 square kilometers (700 square miles) of territory, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
* The chief administrator of parts of Ukraine’s Russian-imposed Kharkiv region has recommended that all its residents evacuate to Russia “to save their lives,” state news agency TASS reported.
* Ukrainian forces have established full control over the city of Balaklia, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said.
* Russia’s Defense Ministry ordered troops to leave the area around the city of Izium in Kharkiv province, saying they would be sent to step up operations elsewhere in neighboring Donetsk, TASS said.
* Ukrainian troops have captured the city of Kupiansk, the only rail hub supplying Russia’s front line across northeastern Ukraine, cutting off supplies to thousands of Russian troops.
* A Reuters reporter inside the vast area retaken by advancing Ukrainian forces in recent days saw Ukrainian police patrolling towns and boxes of ammunition lying in piles in positions abandoned by Russian soldiers.
* Russia’s Defense Ministry said its air force destroyed a Ukrainian radar monitoring station in the southern Mykolaiv region and six weapons and missile depots in the eastern and southeastern regions, TASS reported.
* Reuters could not independently verify reports from the battlefield.
* Ukraine will examine whether it can urgently supply neighboring Poland with 100,000 tons of thermal coal to help it weather the winter, Zelensky said.
* Zelensky said he told French President Emmanuel Macron about the situation at Russia’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, calling for it to be “demilitarized.”
* Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba: “We have shown that we are capable of defeating the Russian army. We are doing it with the weapons we have been given. And that is why I repeat: the more weapons we get, the faster we will win and the faster this war will end.”
* The Ministry of Defense of Russia on TASS: “In order to achieve the stated goals of the Special Military Operation for the Liberation of Donbass, it was decided to regroup Russian troops located in the Balaklia and Izium regions in order to increase efforts in the direction of Donetsk.”