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Ukrainian The military “appears to have won” the Battle of Kharkiv after being able to expel Russian troops from across the city, a US defense think tank said Friday.
A report from the Institute for the Study of War says so Russian the military had not attempted to maintain their position against Ukraine’s counterattack around Kharkiv in recent days.
Ukraine’s second largest city has been under enemy fire since Russia started its own invasion at the end of February.
The think tank said the Kremlin appears to withdraw its troops and seek to replace its military with proxy forces instead of attempting to maintain its positions near Kharkiv.
“Ukraine therefore appears to have won the battle for Kharkiv”, the institute he wrote. “Ukrainian forces prevented Russian troops from encircling, let alone seizing Kharkiv, and then expelled them from all over the city, as they did with Russian forces attempting to seize Kiev.”
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Friday evening in a Facebook post that the country is “entering a new, long phase of the war” and that it has foreseen “extremely difficult weeks”.
Russia is still attacking villages north of Kharkiv. Just north of the city, there were wrecks in the city of Dergachi following what local officials said was a nighttime Russian missile attack on the House of Culture, which is used to distribute aid.
“I can’t call it anything other than a terrorist act,” said Dergachi Mayor Vyacheslav Zadorenko. Reuters. “They wanted to hit the base where we store the supplies and create a humanitarian catastrophe.”