In the coming hours and days, Ukrainian forces are likely to recapture the Russian-occupied Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region in the north-east of the country, the Institute for War Research (ISW) estimates in its latest report, analyzing the progress of the Ukrainian attack in the Balaklia region to date. Pictures of Ukrainian soldiers in the city have appeared on the Internet.
“Ukrainian forces are likely to recapture Kupiansk within 72 hours, seriously weakening, but not completely interrupting, Russian ground lines of communication to Iziumu,” forecasts the American think tank.
The report stated that during the ongoing Ukrainian attack in the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian troops had already managed to approach Kupiańska, a key logistics hub for the Russian forces, at a distance of approx. 20 km.
According to the Institute of Internal Affairs, the successes of Ukrainians on the Kharkiv-Izium line “create a crack in the Russian information space and undermine trust in the Russian command.“on a scale unprecedented since Russia’s unsuccessful crossing of the Donets River in May.
The HEI points out that the Russian defense ministry, which relies on a strategy of portraying the invasion as “easy and error-free operation”, is not prepared to respond to unexpected operations by Ukrainian forces. The situation provokes growing criticism on Russian military blogs, important for promoting the Russian narrative in the local information space.
The Institute’s experts estimate that the Russian defense ministry “repeats its information error from Biłohorivka”, where the Russian attacking forces were destroyed by Donets in May. The Russians are unable to address the situation in the Kharkiv region and propose the desired narrative, which makes military bloggers fill this gap with criticism of the Russian army.
The Ukrainian authorities informed that as a result of the counterattack in the Balaklia region in the Kharkiv Oblast that had been going on for several days, Ukrainian troops had already moved some 50 km deep into the Russian positions north of Izium.