Ukraine retakes territory in the east

DIn its counter-offensive in the east of the country, the Ukrainian army penetrated deep into the rear of the occupying Russian troops. president Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed on Thursday evening the recapture of the district town of Balaklija in the Kharkiv region. The army has liberated more than 1,000 square kilometers of Ukraine since early September, he said in his video address.

"As part of ongoing defensive operations, our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements," he said. "Ukraine is and will be free." However, according to earlier reports, Russian troops hold about 125,000 square kilometers in the country Ukraine occupied. That is one-fifth of the country's territory, including the Crimean Peninsula.

Flag of Ukraine flies over Balaklija again

The small town of Balaklija, which had a population of around 27,000 before the war, had been occupied by Russian troops for several months. As evidence of the recapture, Selenskyj published a video allegedly filmed on the town hall. In front of the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag, a soldier reported to the president about the capture of the city. "The flag of Ukraine over a free Ukrainian city under a free Ukrainian sky," Zelenskyy wrote. Unverified Internet videos showed passers-by waving at the Ukrainian soldiers or hugging them tearfully.

The of Russia Administration used for the conquered areas around Kharkov claimed that Balaklija and the place Shevchenkove were still under Russian control. The Interfax agency reported that reserves were going into battle, citing the head of administration, Andrei Alexejenko. The information was not independently verifiable.

According to the General Staff in Kyiv, the Ukrainian troops have already advanced about 50 kilometers to the east. The attack extends beyond Balakliya towards the town of Kupyansk. There is an important railway junction through which Russia supplies its troops when attacking the Donbass. In Kupyansk, the occupation administration ordered the evacuation of women and children.

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