Russia's war in Ukraine: September 10, 2022

By Adrienne Vogt and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0236 GMT (1036 HKT) September 11, 2022
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10:34 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Follow the latest news on Russia's war in Ukraine here and read more about today's developments in the posts below. 

7:56 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Zelensky says negotiations with Russia are "impossible" at the moment

From CNN's Mariya Knight in Atlanta

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said negotiations with the Russian Federation surrounding the end of the war are currently "impossible" while he was at the annual Yalta European Strategy meeting in Kyiv on Saturday.

"We want to end the war, but the space and opportunities have changed. Society does not want to talk to terrorists. Although one can communicate even with terrorists, because they know what they want," Zelensky said. "There is no reassurance that [the Russians] will do what they say they will do. I think they won’t. No one believes them. Like they say, they can’t be the ones to shake hands with."

Zelensky added "Russians are not ready to admit they have occupied our country. This means there will be no substantial dialogue."

"In order for us to open a diplomatic corridor with [Russia], they must show political will, that they are ready to give back foreign land."

He later said the upcoming winter would be "the most difficult winter in the whole world" and "a turning point in the liberation of the Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia."

4:00 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Zelensky claims about 2,000 square kilometers of Ukraine retaken this month

From CNN’s Mariya Knight in Atlanta

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's nightly address on Saturday, September 10.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's nightly address on Saturday, September 10. (Official President Zelensky Facebook Page)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed the country’s military has retaken more than 2,000 square kilometers of territory since the beginning of the month.

"At this time, within the framework of active actions since the beginning of September, about 2,000 kilometers of our territory have already been liberated," Zelensky said in his nightly address on Saturday.

He also thanked the Ukrainian military who "distinguished themselves in the Kharkiv direction" and to the ones in Balakliya who "returned full control to the city."

1:48 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Russian-backed official in Kharkiv calls on civilians to leave as Ukrainians consolidate gains 

From CNN's Mariya Knight

The most senior Russian-backed official in the Kharkiv region, Vitaly Ganchev, has provided a bleak assessment of the situation after a rapid Ukrainian advance across much of the region.

In a video message published on Telegram, Ganchev said:

"I again recommend to all citizens of Kharkiv region to leave the territory in order to preserve their lives. It is dangerous right now to be inside of your own homes."

Ganchev, speaking from an undisclosed location, said, "We are ready to provide you with all the necessary help. Our representatives remain on the territory and are facilitating the evacuation of citizens."

It's unclear how many residents of Russian-controlled areas wish to leave. Much of the region has already fallen to Ukrainian forces.

"Our Army is doing everything in their power of course. Even right now I can hear our military aviation working," Ganchev added. But he acknowledged settlements in Kharkiv were under constant fire by Ukrainian forces.

He said officials from the administration were assisting at border crossings into the Russian Federation.

1:27 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Ukraine claims it has inflicted further losses on Russian forces in south, officials say

From CNN's Tim Lister and Julia Kesaieva

A tank of Ukrainian Army advances to the fronts in the northeastern areas of Kharkiv, Ukraine on September 8.
A tank of Ukrainian Army advances to the fronts in the northeastern areas of Kharkiv, Ukraine on September 8. (Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Ukrainian military says losses have been inflicted on Russian forces in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine as well as in Kharkiv region.

The General Staff, in an operational update Saturday, said "the liberation of settlements that were temporarily captured by the Russian occupiers in the Kharkiv region and in the South Buh direction continues. For the safety of our servicemen, official information will be provided later."

South Buh includes much of the southern front in Mykolaiv and Kherson.

The General Staff claimed "the command of the Russian occupying forces in the Kherson region is trying to strengthen the city of Kherson by deploying reserves. Thus, new enemy units have been spotted in the regional center."

It also said the Russians were trying to restore traffic across one of several damaged bridges on the river Dnipro, but the bridge remained under the "fire control" of Ukrainian artillery.

The General Staff said the Russian 106th Airborne Division had lost nearly 60 soldiers to Ukrainian action in the past 24 hours. It said Russian commanders were trying to reconstitute the First Army Corps by transferring troops from other units.

Separately, the Ukrainian Operational Command in the south said Russian forces were continuing efforts "to increase ammunition stocks and manpower reserves, and is looking for alternative ways to deliver weapons and equipment." To that end, it said a new unit of Chechen forces, numbering some 1,300 troops, had arrived in the region, it said.

CNN cannot independently verify the Ukrainian claims.

2:38 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Mayor of Izium: City "liberated" from Russians

From CNN's Mariya Knight and Tim Lister

The mayor of Izium in Kharkiv region, Vladimir Matsokin, has said in a radio interview the city has been liberated.

Matsokin told a Ukrainian radio station: "Our Armed Forces of Ukraine are in Izium. It cannot be said that the military operation to liberate Izium is over, but our military is working."

Matsokin said above the city on the Kremenets mountain "our blue-and-yellow flag is already fluttering. This has been confirmed."

"This is a real holiday — the Liberation Day of our city," Matsokin added. "Sept. 10 is the day of the liberation of Izium from Russian invaders."

CNN earlier Saturday reported that according to Ukrainian military officers involved in the operation, the first units had entered Izium. There are no reports of Russian resistance; it appears most Russian units had already left the city.

Ukrainian soldiers have posted several videos and images of their presence at the entrances to the city.

12:14 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Ukrainian official says Russian troops' "main artery" through Kharkiv region is severed

From CNN's Julia Kesaieva and Tim Lister

A senior Ukrainian official said that the "main artery" for Russian forces through Kharkiv region has been severed.

Yurii Mysiagin, a Ukrainian member of Parliament and deputy head of the parliament's committee on national security, said on Telegram that a "few days ago, military experts said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were trying to take the main logistical artery of the Russians in the Kharkiv region under full fire control."

He said that artery ran from Vovchansk in the north, close to the Russian border, down to Izium, on the border of Donetsk region — a distance of some 125 kilometers (approximately 77 miles).

"And today our fighters succeeded," Mysiagin said. "Now there is only one way out for the occupiers — to leave this area, flee, retreat."

12:12 p.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Ukrainian forces appear to be moving toward city of Lysychansk in Luhansk region

From CNN's Tim Lister, Vasco Cotovio and Julia Kesaieva

Ukrainian forces appear to have opened a new front against Russian defenses on the border of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The head of the regional military administration for Luhansk, Serhiy Hayday, posted a message indicating that the city of Lysychansk was the target of the new offensive. 

The city was lost to Russian forces and their allied militia after weeks of fierce fighting in June.

Hayday posted: "Lysychansk, a great Ukrainian city. There will be a lot of reconstruction work."

Hayday later told Ukrainian media outlets Suspilne and Channel 5 that Ukrainian units had reached the outskirts of the city of Lysychansk.

CNN is unable to confirm his claim.

Lysychansk was the last city of any consequence to have been captured by the Russians, but they subsequently failed to make further advances into the neighboring Donetsk region.

The reported Ukrainian advance toward Lysychansk comes as Ukrainian ground forces complete a sweep through much of what was Russian-held territory in Kharkiv region, depriving the Russians of a critical front in their attack on Donetsk region.

In another sign of Ukrainian advances, the head of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, admitted that the situation in northern Donetsk had become "pretty tough." 

Pushilin said on his Telegram channel that in the town of Lyman, not far from the Ukrainian-held city of Sloviansk, that "the situation is pretty tough, just like in a number of settlements in the North of the Republic."
"However, I'm in touch with the local administrations, with emergency services and with our units. There is more information but I can not reveal it for now, as it might harm our units," he said.

Hayday said that locals in the city of Lysychansk have reported the hasty departure of Russian officials from the city.

Speaking to CNN by phone, Hayday said that according to residents, "the occupiers, including both the collaborators and the military, are running away in a hurry."

"Locals have videos and photos proving that," Hayday said. He said the visual evidence could not be shared for security reasons.

Hayday also suggested that there was an exodus of pro-Russian officials and collaborators in Luhansk toward Russia. "Those from Svatove, Starobilsk, Novopskov are trying to leave, not to Luhansk, but to the border with Russia at Milove."

CNN is unable to verify Hayday's claim, but at least one border crossing into Russia has seen lines of vehicles forming.  

Hayday also told CNN that the Russians had failed to build a defensive line in Luhansk. "Svatove, Starobilsk — this is an open rural countryside, so there's nowhere to hide."

He claimed Russian forces were leaving the town of Svatove. If true, it would be significant as Svatove is a key link in Russian supply lines to parts of occupied Luhansk region.

Hayday also confirmed to CNN that "partisans" had raised the Ukrainian flag in the town of Kreminna, north of Lysychansk.

11:37 a.m. ET, September 10, 2022

Russian military leaving Kharkiv region "temporarily," Russian-backed administration says

From CNN's Tim Lister

The Russian backed-local authorities in the north of Kharkiv region have announced that the Russian military is leaving the area "temporarily."

The Military-Civic Administration of the Vovchansk district, through which many Russian supplies travel toward the front lines, said in a brief Telegram post: "Russian military are leaving Volchansk‼️ [Vovchansk] temporarily. City’s population continues to evacuate."

The administration quoted a member of the Russian parliament, Evgeniy Evtushenko, as saying that the local headquarters would be moved across the border to the Russian city of Belgorod.

“In order to save civilians’ lives, Russian Armed Forces have made a decision to leave our city. [The] City’s administration will be moved to Belgorod. Its branches will be in Kursk, Yakutsk, Vladivostok and St. Peter[s]burg till the situation in the city stabilizes," Evtushenko said.

"Russian armed forces will return control of all Russian land in Kharkiv region," he added.

Vovchansk has been an important link in the Russian military's supply chain from Belgorod, and it remained under Russian control even as Ukrainian forces retook some territory north and east of the city of Kharkiv in May.