Newsletter by Romeo Kokriatski, Managing Editor, New Voice of Ukraine Thursday, September 13th, 2022
Two power plant workers were killed as a result. Power was interrupted Kharkiv, Donetsk, Sumy, Poltava, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts, but swiftly restored to all affected areas, save Kharkiv itself. Later, a second strike killed one and wounded four, once more knocking out Kharkiv’s by-then restored power supplies. The Kharkiv Metro was also forced to suspend service, along with the rest of the city’s mass transit systems.
According to a report by regional governor Oleg Synehubov, Ukrainian forces chasing routing Russian units made it to the international border in several places. The rout cost Russia at least 125 pieces of heavy equipment, including tanks and APCs, Conflict Intelligence Team analysts revealed.
Ukrainian military intelligence revealed that command of Russia’s Army Group West will now fall to Alexander Lapin, the former commander of Army Group Center. The fate of Army Group West’s overall commander, Roman Berdinkov, is unknown. Berdinkov himself commended Army Group West for only three weeks, replacing Andrei Sychevoy, who was killed by Ukrainian forces.
It’s unclear to what extent Berdinkov was himself responsible for the catastrophic defeat in Kharkiv Oblast, but reports from local Ukrainian officials note that Russian positions were abandoned just five kilometers from the Russian border, while intercepted communications paint a picture of an utterly destroyed Russian defense.
In an interview with a Russian TV channel, he said that Russia was not against negotiations with the Ukrainian side, though he was unable to restrain himself from further threatening Ukraine in the same breath, saying "the more they (Ukraine) delay this process, the more difficult it will be to agree.” He then proceeded to call the massacre of civilians at Bucha a hoax. Previous negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow resulted in nothing more than Moscow presenting the Kremlin’s ultimatums for a complete Ukrainian surrender.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitriy Peskov, speaking to Russia’s RIA Novosti propaganda sheet, denied all evidence of Russian shelling against the nuclear facility and blamed Kyiv for engaging in nuclear terrorism, likely in order to muddy the waters against Russia’s repeated use of the nuclear plant as a shield for its own forces and a threat to all of Europe. Ukraine, the EU, and the IAEA have all called on the ZNPP to be demilitarized in order to minimize the risks of a nuclear incident.
Ukraine’s Operational Command South reported this recent addition to the Russian naval presence in Ukrainian waters in the Azov and Black Seas, but a storm over the Black Sea has prevented any possible landing operations onto Ukrainian-held territory. The purpose of these landing vessels is unknown, though earlier rumors suggested that the Russians had wanted to or have been planning an amphibious assault against the port city of Odesa.
Meanwhile, OC South has also reported that several Russian units station in occupied Kherson Oblast, where a major liberation campaign is underway, are negotiating their surrender to the Ukrainian military. “The degree of creaking resolve and demoralization is so high, even the commanders now realize they don’t have anywhere to go,” an OC South spokesperson noted.
All Moldovan national carriers have been banned from flying to that country, including Air Moldova, the country’s main national airline. It’s airspace is also closed to Russia, and has been since Feb. 24.
The New Voice breaks down what the collapstrophy in Kharkiv means for Russia’s war effort going forward, and how the southern and eastern fronts may develop as a result.