Ukraine has reported major gains in a counteroffensive against Russian forces, officials have claimed today.
Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko suggested troops had retaken Kupiansk, cutting off supplies to the Russian front line.
The Security Service of Ukraine, known as the SBU, posted a message which it said showed its forces in Kupiansk, further suggesting it had been seized by Ukrainian troops, according to the Press Association.
The British Defence Ministry also told reporters it believed the Ukrainians had advanced as much as 50 kilometres – or 30 miles – south of Kharkiv.
“Russian forces were likely taken by surprise. The sector was only lightly held and Ukrainian units have captured or surrounded several towns,” the British military said, adding that the loss of Kupiansk would greatly affect Russian supply lines in the area.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Friday that more than 30 settlements had been liberated in the Kharkiv region.
BBC News reported that Vitaly Ganchev, a top Russian official in the occupied parts of the Kharkiv region, conceded on Russian TV that Ukrainian forces had won a “significant victory” and broken through the Russian defence line.