The Russian army is positioning reserves near Svatove, in Luhansk Oblast, in response to the Ukrainian counter-offensive in Kharkiv Oblast, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Hayday said during the national telethon on Sept. 9.
According to him, the invading Russian forces will try to stop the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian military.
"In Luhansk Oblast, Russians are pulling up reserves near Svatove, as the ‘rascists’ probably never expected such a huge breakthrough that our military made in Kharkiv Oblast," Hayday said.
“They are running en masse there.”
The head of the regional military administration added that the Russian army will try to block the offensive of the Ukrainian army, "but we will see what will happen in the near future."
Since the beginning of September, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have launched a counter-offensive in the Kherson, Kharkiv and partially in the Donetsk sectors of the front line.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar wrote on Facebook that the events on the 2,500 kilometer wide front line "are developing according to plan," and all the details are shared by the General Staff and operational commands.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sept. 6 that active fighting was going on almost along the entire front line. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are advancing on several axes at once, and not solely in Kherson Oblast.
The head of state confirmed that the Ukrainian army had liberated a settlement in Donetsk Oblast and two more in the south. Before that, a photo of the Ukrainian flag was published over the hospital in Vysokopillia, Kherson Oblast.
Adviser to the President's Office Oleksiy Arestovych confirmed on Sept. 6 that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had also liberated the town of Olhyne in Kherson Oblast.
Earlier, the U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported that the Ukrainian army had used tactical surprise to recapture approximately 400 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory on Sept. 6-7. ISW described the counter-attacks of Ukrainian forces in the area of Izyum and Balakliya as "local, but very effective."
The General Staff confirmed that the Ukrainian army had liberated more than 20 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast and penetrated 50 kilometers behind the former Russian front line.
It was not officially specified which settlements were liberated, but, according to open sources, Ukrainian forces have raised the flag of Ukraine in Balakliya, Verkhovyi Yar, Ivanivka, Borshchivka, and Shevchenkove.
On the evening of Sept. 8, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed the liberation of Balakliya.
Representative of the General Staff Oleksiy Hromov also said that the defenders of Ukraine liberated Ozerne, Donetsk Oblast, improved the tactical situation on the Kramatorsk axis and advanced on the Slovyansk axis.
Zelenskyy also noted that since Sept. 1, the Armed Forces of Ukraine haveliberated more than 1,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory and dozens of settlements from Russian military.