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Monday, September 26, 2022
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    Ukraine piles continued pressure on retreating Russian troops

    KHARKIV, UKRAINE (AP) – Ukrainian troops continued to pile unrelenting pressure on retreating Russian forces yesterday, seeking to hold on to their sudden momentum that has produced major territorial gains.

    Fresh yellow-and-blue flags fluttered from the tallest buildings left in partly destroyed towns around Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, while Ukrainian soldiers inspected charred Russian tanks left along the way.

    “From the beginning of September until today, our soldiers have already liberated more than 6,000 square kilometres of the territory of Ukraine – in the east and south. The movement of our troops continues,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his nightly address late on Monday.

    Many of the claims of military success could not be independently verified.

    Rubbing salt into Russia’s wounds, British intelligence said that one of Moscow’s premier forces, the 1st Guards Tank Army, had been “severely degraded” during the invasion and that “Russia’s conventional force designed to counter NATO is severely weakened. It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability.”

    A Ukrainian soldier helps a wounded fellow soldier in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine. PHOTO: AP

    The retreat didn’t stop Russia from pounding Ukrainian positions, however. Early yesterday, it shelled the city of Lozova in the Kharkiv region, killing three people and injuring nine, said regional governor Oleh Syniehubov.

    The Nikopol area, which is across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, was shelled six times during the night but no injuries were immediately reported, said regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko. Continued shelling has left Europe’s largest nuclear facility in a precarious position.

    Zelenskyy specifically criticised Russia for targetting energy infrastructure in its attacks over the past days. “Hundreds and thousands of Ukrainians found themselves in the dark – without electricity. Houses, hospitals, schools, communal infrastructure… sites that have absolutely nothing to do with the infrastructure of the armed forces of our country.”

    He said it could only point to one thing. “This is a sign of the desperation of those who contrived this war. This is how they react to the defeat of Russian forces in the Kharkiv region. They can’t do anything to our heroes on the battlefield.”

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