As Ukrainian troops continue engaging in counteroffensive operations against invading Russian soldiers across regions including Kharkiv, Ukrainian leaders are now reporting hundreds of liberated settlements, with over 150,000 people freed from Russian subjugation in the region.
A recent update on Ukrainian progress in the Kharkiv region was provided by Kyrylo Tymoshenko, who works in the Ukrainian president’s office, and the specific number of liberated settlements he gave was 454. He also indicated that efforts to provide local communities with necessities like police protection, medical services, and schooling opportunities are ongoing. “Kharkiv Oblast. Thanks to the offensive actions of the Ukrainian military in the region, 454 settlements have been liberated,” he said. “To date, 14 police departments have resumed their work in the liberated territories of the oblast, 90 educational institutions have imposed distance learning, and 78 paramedic stations, 23 local self-government bodies, and 10 branches of Ukrposhta have started working.” Ukrposhta is the Ukrainian postal service.
Authorities are also working on providing cell service and energy supplies to liberated communities in the region. “Tymoshenko also reported that 6 mobile connection towers, 27 gas supply facilities and 23 electricity supply facilities have started working in Kharkiv Oblast,” Ukrainska Pravda summarized on Tuesday. Banking services are also on the list among features of everyday life returning to the region amid continuing Ukrainian progress, as locals also work on repairing structures damaged during the war. “The local government is compiling lists of residents’ needs for grocery kits, hygiene and baby products,” Ukrainska Pravda further added. The threat of airstrikes from Russian military positions elsewhere in Ukraine hasn’t totally vanished for areas freed from occupation by Putin’s forces, although an update from U.K. defense authorities recently pointed to continued failures by the Russian army to establish air superiority in Ukraine, no matter any self-confident proclamations from Russia’s apologists about Ukraine’s supposed tactical failures.
“Russia’s continued lack of air superiority remains one of the most important factors underpinning the fragility of its operational design in Ukraine,” the September 19 update from the U.K. said. Inside Russia, Putin is pursuing a large mobilization operation in which authorities could end up forcing hundreds of thousands of additional troops to Ukraine from across Russian society. Hundreds of thousands of Russians have reportedly already left the country in the days since the mobilization orders were unveiled, constituting the first draft in Russia since World War II. Over 115,000 Russians are believed to have gone into Georgia, which neighbors Russia in its west. There are also ongoing demonstrations inside Russia against the mobilization. A spokesperson at the Ukrainian defense ministry said a hotline the ministry established is already receiving calls from Russians interested in the details of opportunities for surrendering to Ukraine following the draft starting in Russia.