Mercenaries in Russian private military companies deployed to Ukraine have suffered significant losses in the Oleksandrivka district of Kharkiv Oblast, the press service of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on Facebook on Sept. 7.
"Private military companies operating in temporarily occupied territories, in particular in the settlement of Oleksandrivka, Kharkiv Oblast, are suffering significant losses,” the update reads.
“Some units have more than 40% seriously wounded and killed.”
The army command added that many of the corpses of Russian mercenaries have not been identified and their owners are simply listed by the Russian military as missing.
Russia employs mercenaries, notably via the Wagner private military company, to fight both in Ukraine, Syria and in Africa. The use or mercenaries allows the Kremlin to reduce official numbers of military losses.
The General Staff also provided updates on the situation on the Kharkiv section of the front, where the Russian military opened fire near eight settlements in the area.
The Ukrainian army struck clusters of Russian troops in the Semenivka and Kupyansk districts of Kharkiv Oblast on Sept. 5, the Ukrainian military said.
There were also reports late on Sept. 6 that Ukrainian forces had launched a counter-offensive in Kharkiv Oblast.
Later, the advisor of the President's Office, Oleksiy Arestovych, hinted that the Russian troops had been driven out of the town of Balakleya, which is located to the west of Kupyansk and north-west of the key Russian-held town of Izyum.
The Russian military seized part of Kharkiv Oblast at the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russian attempts to capture Kharkiv were unsuccessful, but Ukraine's second
largest city is shelled almost every day, with Russia firing rockets at residential areas.
At an earlier stage of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian army launched a counter-offensive in other areas of the oblast, pushing the Russian troops back to the border.