Ukraine continues to consolidate its control in Kharkiv

A man waves a Ukrainian flag in Izyum, Kharkiv Region, on Sept 14, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Britain's Defence Ministry said Thursday Ukrainian forces continue to consolidate their control of newly liberated areas of Kharkiv Oblast.

Russian forces have largely withdrawn from the area west of the Oskil River, the ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

Russia suffered a stunning reversal this month after Ukrainian troops made a rapid armoured thrust in the Kharkiv region, forcing a rushed Russian withdrawal.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday towns and villages recaptured from Russian forces had been devastated, while a major city struggled to contain damage to its water system from missile attacks by Kremlin's forces.

Kryvyi Rih, the largest city in central Ukraine with an estimated pre-war population of 650,000, was targeted by eight cruise missiles on Wednesday, officials said.

"The water pumping station was destroyed. The river broke through the dam and overflowed its banks. Residential buildings are just a few metres away from the river," Ukrainian legislator Inna Sovsun said on Twitter.

The missile strikes hit the Karachunov reservoir dam, Mr Zelensky said in a video address released Thursday.

The water system had "no military value", and hundreds of thousands of civilians depend on it daily, he said. REUTERS

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