A Russian official installed by Russia says the number of Ukrainian soldiers has exceeded the number of Russian soldiers

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  • This content was produced in Russia, where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces outnumbered Russian and pro-Russian forces eight times during a lightning counterattack at the weekend, a Russian official in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region said on Monday.

Ukrainian forces overran Russia’s supply centers at Izyum and Kobyansk over the weekend, Russia’s worst military defeat since its forces were forced back from Kyiv shortly after President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine.

Speaking to the state-owned Rossiya-24 TV channel, Vitaly Ganchev said that Ukrainian forces had captured Russian-controlled settlements in the north of the region, breached the border with Russia, and that “about 5,000” civilians had been evacuated to Russia. .

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“The situation is getting more and more difficult by the hour,” Ganchev said, adding that the border with Russia’s Belgorod region is now closed.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the battlefield reports.

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry released a map showing that Russian forces have almost completely abandoned the Kharkiv region.

In the Russian-controlled Kherson region of southern Ukraine, where a slower-advanced offensive by Kyiv’s forces has seen modest gains in recent weeks, a Russian official who pitched it said there was no cause for concern.

“There is no panic in Kherson,” Kirill Strimosov said in a video posted on Telegram, acknowledging that the news from the Kharkiv region upset some pro-Russian locals.

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The US-based Institute for the Study of War reported Monday that Ukraine’s advance in the Kherson region increased, with Kyiv forces approaching the city of Kherson, after weeks of artillery bombardment strained Russian supply lines across the Dnipro River.

“It is calm. It may be the calm before the storm, but we are ready to stand to the end and will not hand over our Russian city of Kherson to anyone,” Strimosov said.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Guy Faulconbridge

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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