Ukrainian army advances on Kupyansk

uCarniola units continued to advance to the strategic hub of Kupyansk in the north-east of the country on Friday. Several sources reported that soldiers reached the western and southern outskirts of the city after penetrating fifty kilometers deep into Russian-held territory in just three days.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels that the war was entering a "decisive phase". "Ukrainian forces managed to stop Moscow's offensive in Donbass, fought back behind Russian lines and retake territory."

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that Ukrainethat their counter-offensive is "demonstrably making real progress" and following a "strong plan". Blinken briefed the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on his visit to Kyiv the previous day.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy After his meeting with Blinken, he spoke in a video speech that "a thousand square kilometers" and "dozens of settlements" had been liberated since the beginning of the month. This referred to the offensives in the northeast and south, where Ukrainian units have been advancing since late August. The last time there was a comparably dynamic situation was in May, when Ukrainian forces succeeded in pushing back the Russian occupying forces near Kharkiv.

The American think tank Institute for the Study of War confirmed the land gains. Ukrainian troops would probably take Kupyansk within 72 hours. The city, which had around 30,000 inhabitants before the start of the war, is the most important transshipment point in the north-east of the front. Road and rail links cross here, supplying Russian troops in Izyum and Severodonetsk directly from Russia.

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