As Ukraine’s military conducts counter-offensives in Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts, the General Staff remains tight-lipped on how the operation is unfolding, adhering to a strict operations security regime.
However, numerous analytical pieces by Western experts, combined with photo- and video footage from the ground, have allowed NV to compile a reliably-sourced list of Ukrainian settlements liberated in the ongoing operations.
On the Kharkiv front alone, Ukrainian forces have managed to recapture 400 square kilometers of land, U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in its Sept. 7 report.
Kyiv’s troops penetrated 20 kilometers into Russia-held territory on Sept. 6-7.
“Ukrainian flags are returning to their rightful places,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sept. 4, describing developments on the battlefield in very general terms.
Balakliya, Sept. 6-7, likely encirclement
First reports of a rapid Ukrainian push towards Balakliya (near Izyum) started to emerge on Sept. 6. By Sept. 7, Ukrainian troops were holding up a Ukrainian flag at the city’s boundary – as seen in a photo, posted by journalist Andriy Tsaplienko.
“The AFU are surrounding Balakliya and approaching the road to Izyum,” Tsaplienko said in his post.
Russian propagandist Yurii Kotyonok later said that several Russian special forces units were encircled in Balakliya.
Verbivka, Sept. 6
ISW assessed that Ukraine has liberated Verbivka – Balakliya’s suburb – on Sept. 6, after successfully geolocating and verifying video footage of the aftermath of the assault.
By Sept. 7, fresh footage emerged, showing a Ukrainian presence in liberated Verbivka.
Nova Husarivka, Sept. 7
Nova Husarivka is a village near Balakliya, sitting right next to Siverskyi Donets River. A widely-circulating video shows Ukrainian troops taking down a Soviet flag in the village, presumably left there by enemy troops.
Bayrak, Sept. 7
Ukrainian journalist Taras Berezovets confirmed the liberation of Bayrak on Sept. 7. He also posted footage of abandoned Russian trenches and equipment in Bayrak.
Here’s another video from the village:
Ozerne, Sept. 4
Zelenskyy commended Ukraine’s 103th Territorial Defense Brigade for liberating an unnamed settlement in Donetsk Oblast.
Afterwards, ISW report suggested the president was talking about Ozerne, some 20 kilometers northwest of Siversk, where Ukrainian forces likely crossed the Siverskyi Donets River.
Ukrainian soldiers later recorded a video from Ozerne.
Vysokopillia, Sept. 3-4
Ukrainian forces liberated Vysokopillia, near Beryslav, Kherson Oblast, on Sept. 4, according to Oleksandr Samoilenko, head of Kherson Regional Council.
Samoilenko said Russian forces fled the town in haste, abandoning their equipment.
Local Ukrainian news media Most later published photos from Vysokopillia, where Ukrainian specialists are sweeping the area for landmines.
Ukrainian officials later confirmed the Ukrainian flag was raised over Vysokopillia’s hospital.
Olhyne, Sept. 4-5
Advancing Ukrainian troops pushed the Russians out of Olhyne, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksii Arestovych confirmed on Sept. 5.
“Yes, Vysokopillia was taken, (along with) Olhyne…, with plenty of POWs” said Arestovych.
Video footage of a Ukrainian flag over an administrative building in Olhyne was widely shared on social media.
Novovoznesenske, Sept. 7
ISW’s Sept. 7 report said that Ukrainian troops have entered Novovoznesenske, 5 kilometers from Dnipropetrovsk Oblast boundary.
Soldiers from AFU’s 128th Brigade raised the Ukrainians flag in Novovoznesenske on Sept. 7.