The first information about Russian servicemen captured during the Kharkov counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces leaked to the electronic media in Ukraine despite the imposed operational silence. To date, neither the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine nor the Russian command have commented on the flow of photos, videos and texts about the Ukrainian offensive in the Balakleya region, and even officials in Kyiv speak about the counteroffensive descriptively and veiledly.
According to the independent publication “Donpress”, units of the Ukrainian army took a large number of prisoners of war during their advance on the Kharkiv direction, including a lieutenant colonel from the Russian army. The site shows a video of the captured officer released earlier that night. According to other video recordings, in which Russian prisoners speak, servicemen from the Russian Guard also fell into the hands of the Ukrainians.
So far, the Russian side is more active in its comments, where the information about serious losses in the Kharkiv direction and the surprise from the VSU have angered the audience of the military theater. In the opinion of Russian propagandists covering the war in Ukraine, the successes of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the Kharkiv front were due to the “indifference of the generals of the Russian army.”
In anger-filled statuses, war correspondents wrote: “How blind you have to be not to see such obvious things. To leave the national guard face to face with the VSU is a complete failure. No provisioning and maintenance. While the plywood Marshal Shoigu rubs his stars on his epaulettes, our boys are dying and we are losing liberated lands.”
The pessimistic assumptions of the Russian “comment booths” predict that if the VSU captures Izyum, now controlled by the Russian army, Russia may lose Luhansk.
With reference to intelligence data, the Ministry of Defense of Great Britain announced the advance of the Ukrainians in different directions on the front. “During the past 24 hours, heavy fighting took place on three fronts: in the north near Kharkiv; to the east in Donbass; and to the south in the Kherson region. The main Russian effort is taking shape, possibly around the attack on Bakhmut in the Donbass, but commanders face the dilemma of whether to deploy operational reserves to support this offensive or defend against persistent Ukrainian attacks in the south,” the British analysis said. .
According to the British, the multiple simultaneous threats spreading across a 500-kilometer front are testing the Russian military’s ability to coordinate operations and redistribute resources among multiple force groups. “Earlier in this war, Russia’s inability to do this was one of the main reasons for low military productivity,” the London-based defense ministry said in a statement.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have assembled forces for the offensive and will advance throughout September – until the rains, so that by mid-October and into November they will reach the front line at the frontiers before February 24. This is what Russian military correspondent Yuriy Kotyonok thinks. Kitten also reports a battle in Balakleia territory
“They are trying to take Balakleia from two sides. The city is in an operational environment. The road to Kupyansk is under fire control of the Ukrainians. The situation is complicated. The desire of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to capture Balakleya is understandable. After that, the road to Izyum is opened, a threat is created in the rear of the Slavic-Kramatorsk grouping.”
Kotenok suggests that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing a new strike in the Zaporizhzhya direction, and given the accumulation of manpower and armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, an attempt to break through the Russian defenses west of Vagledar is possible. “Then they will try to strike with a trident at the same time in three directions – Volnovaha, Melitopol and already from the eastern side of Energodar.”