The Ukrainian military has confirmed that its forces have won back control of several settlements to the north and east of Kharkiv, potentially making it more difficult for the Russians to launch missile and artillery attacks against the city.
Ruska Lozova — a village north of Kharkiv — "returned to our control despite aggravation and losses," the military said Monday.
The military also said the village of Verkhnya Rohanka in the east of Kharkiv was back in Ukrainian hands, and that the operation had been led by Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of land forces.
In the past two weeks, Ukraine has reclaimed about a half dozen villages in the area, bringing its forces slightly closer to Russian supply lines that run from the border to Izium.
Ukrainian forces have pushed Russian forces 40 kilometers (24 miles) to the east of Kharkiv over the last 24 to 48 hours, a senior US defense official told reporters Monday.
The official called it part of an “incredible effort” from the Ukrainian forces.
“It’s just another piece of the stiff Ukrainian resistance that they continue to demonstrate. And again to remind Kharkiv is important to the Russians because it sits at the very northwestern sort of lip or edge of that Donbas region,” the official said.