Ukrainian forces have continued to make “significant gains” in the Kharkiv region as its counter-offensive against Russia continues.
The UK Ministry of Defence has said that Russia has likely withdrawn units from the area in northeastern Ukraine, in its daily intelligence update.
The shock advance by Ukrainian forces in the past four days has seen Russia order its troops to withdraw from two front-line positions, marking a significant gain for the Ukrainian military.
The country’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia’s army is “showing its back” and that Ukraine has liberated around 2,000 square kilometres of territory since the beginning of September.
In his nightly address, he said: “The movement of our soldiers in different directions on the front continues.
“The Russian army these days is demonstrating the best it can do. Showing it’s back, and of course, it’s a good decision for them to run.”
His comments come after Russian military spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said troops in the cities of Balakliia and Izyium, were being “regrouped” in the Donetsk region, a part of the Donbas.
While Ukraine has recaptured territory in the Kharkiv region, the country’s second-largest city, fighting continues around Kupiansk and Izyum, which are both strategically important cities.
Images from the Kharkiv region show vehicles and checkpoints abandoned by Russian soldiers.
Izyum was captured by Russia at the start of the war and has remained under their control ever since.
Ukrainian flags have been spotted in villages, towns, and cities in the eastern region.
Final reactor at Zaporizhzhia plant shut down
In southern Ukraine, the last reactor at the Zaporizhzhia power plant has been shut down after it was reconnected to the electricity grid.
The six-reactor plant, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power station, was disconnected from the grid last week after all its power lines were cut off due to shelling in the area.
Energoatom, Ukraine’s atomic power operator, said one of the power lines was restored late on Saturday, allowing plant operators to shut down the last reactor.
While both sides accuse each other of shelling near the plant, which has been occupied by Russian forces since the early stages of the war, fighting around it has triggered concerns of a nuclear disaster.