Ukraine’s success on the Kharkiv-Izyum line is creating cracks in the Russian information space and eroding confidence in the Russian command to a level not seen since the failed Russian river crossing in mid-May. Ukrainian military officials announced that Ukrainian troops advanced 50 kilometers toward Russian defense positions north of Izum on September 8, but it is worth noting that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has not issued any statement on Ukraine’s progress in Kharkiv Oblast statement. Ukraine’s success and the Russian Defense Ministry’s silence prompted many Russian bloggers to criticize and debate Russia’s failure to maintain control of the city of Baraklia, about 44 kilometers northwest of Izum. Some milbloggers claim that Russian troops have completely or partially withdrawn from Baraklia, while others complain that Ukrainian troops have beaten Russian troops out of the settlement. Others noted that Rosgwadia forces operating in the region did not coordinate their defenses or possess sufficient artillery capability to deter a Ukrainian counterattack in the region. Days before the Ukrainian advance, Milbloggers warned of an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive northwest of Izyum, with some milbloggers noting that the Russian command failed to prepare for a “clear and predictable” Ukrainian counteroffensive. Others pointed out that Ukrainian forces “completely outperformed” the Russian military command in Baraklia, while others encouraged readers to wait until Russian forces stabilized the front before discussing Russian losses and withhold criticism.
Map, Re: Kharkiv Region:
resource: ISW, September 8, 2022.
Updated the interactive map of the entire Ukrainian front, here.