Eastern Ukraine offensive

2022 military offensive in Ukraine

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Eastern Ukraine offensive
Part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and War in Donbas
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine Hlukhiv.png
Russian advances in north east Ukraine,
26 February 2022
Date24 February 2022 – present
(1 week and 4 days)
Location
Status Ongoing
Belligerents
 Russia
 Donetsk People's Republic
 Luhansk People's Republic
 Ukraine
Units involved

 Russian Armed Forces

Donetsk People's Republic DPR Armed Forces

Luhansk People's Republic LPR People's Militia

 Ukrainian Armed Forces

Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Eastern Ukraine offensive is an ongoing theatre of operation in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine for control over Eastern Ukraine.[1]

Overview

The Eastern Ukraine offensive includes the Russian operations to capture Kharkiv and Sumy, which are both located less than 35 kilometres (22 mi) from the Russian border. Fighting has also taken place in Konotop, Sievierodonetsk, and Okhtyrka. The offensive also includes the Siege of Mariupol, where the Russians invading from the Donetsk People's Republic are aided by troops advancing northeast from Crimea in the Kherson offensive.[2][3]

In an assessment of the campaign on 4 March, Frederick Kagan wrote that the "Sumy axis is currently the most successful and dangerous Russian avenue of advance on Kyiv." He noted the geography favored mechanized advances as the terrain "is flat and sparsely populated, offering few good defensive positions."[4]

Offensive

24 February

A burning bus along a road between Kharkiv and Kyiv, 24 February

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border and began advancing towards Kharkiv. They met Ukrainian resistance, thus beginning the Battle of Kharkiv.[5]

Meanwhile, in Konotop, Russian forces advancing from the northeast had encircled the city and placed it under siege.[6]

In Sumy, fighting began in the outskirts of the city around 3:00am,[7] beginning the Battle of Sumy. Warfare between the Ukrainians and the Russians continued through the day and into the evening.

At 7:30am, fighting started in Okhtyrka, commencing the Battle of Okhtyrka.[8] Ukrainian forces put up a fierce resistance and the Russians retreated.

25 February

Destroyed vehicle in Konotop, 25 February

At 1:39am, it was reported that Russian forces had retreated from the city of Sumy.[9] Fierce fighting continued in the northern suburbs of Kharkiv.[10]

In the morning of 25 February, Russian forces advanced from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) towards Mariupol. They came up against Ukrainian forces in Pavilopil.[11] Although the Ukrainians were victorious, destroying at least 20 Russian tanks in the process,[12] in the evening the Russian Navy began an amphibious assault 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Mariupol, from the Sea of Azov.[13][14]

In Starobilsk, the Ukrainian Armed Forces reportedly destroyed a group of Russian soldiers attempting to cross the river Aidar during a battle.[15]

At Okhtyrka, BM-27 Uragan missiles hit a school in the city,[16] killing a guard and injuring an unknown number of children and a teacher. However, Ukrainian forces put up a fierce resistance and the Russians retreated.[17]

26 February

The Governor of Kharkiv Oblast Oleh Synyehubov claimed that Kharkiv was still under Ukrainian control. He also announced a curfew for the city.[18]

In Sumy, conflict had broken out again.[19] Russians managed to capture half of the city during the day, but by nightfall the Ukrainians repelled the attackers from the city.[20] 3 civilian casualties were reported in Sumy.[21]

Starobilsk was reported to have been heavily damaged by Russian artillery barrages.[22]

Russian forces continued to bombard Mariupol with artillery throughout the day[23] Russian forces west of Sumy advanced further westwards by the night according to the intelligence group Rochan Consulting, and were apparently 150 kilometres (93 mi) from Kiev.[24]

27 February

In the early morning in Kharkiv, a gas pipeline was destroyed by Russian forces.[25] Later that morning Russian forces entered the city. Explosions were also heard.[26] The Russian Minister of Defense Igor Konashenkov stated that "the 302nd anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, equipped with Buk M-1 air defense systems, voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered."[27] in a claim that is regarded as false by Ukrainian authorities.[28] A top adviser in Ukraine reported that half of the Russian vehicles that entered Kharkiv had been destroyed by the Ukrainian military.[29]

In the morning of 27 February, it was reported that a Russian tank column quickly advanced on Mariupol from the DPR, but the attack was prevented by Ukrainian forces. 6 Russian soldiers were captured.[30]

A number of Russian vehicles advanced into Sumy from the east. A civilian car with adults and children in it was shot at, killing a woman.[31]

By the afternoon, Ukrainian officials, including Governor Synyehubov, said that Kharkiv was still under Ukrainian control after heavy fighting.[32][33] Hennadiy Matsegora, the mayor of Kupiansk, agreed to hand over control of the city to Russian forces and accused Ukrainian forces of abandoning it when the invasion began.[34] Matesegora was later accused of treason by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.[35]

Luhansk Oblast governor Serhiy Haidai stated that Stanytsia Luhanska and Shchastia were captured by Russian forces who had practically destroyed the settlements during their shelling. Donetsk Oblast governor Pavlo Kyrylenko also accused them of destroying Volnovakha.[36]

1 March

An administration building is shelled in Kharkiv, 1 March

On 1 March, more than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed after Russian shelling on the military base in Okhtyrka according to Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the governor of Sumy Oblast.[37]

Later on 1 March, Ukrainian officials allege that Ukrainian forces killed 200 Russian soldier at the village of Kruty in southern Chernihiv Oblast.[38]

On 1 March, Ukrainian forces began a counteroffensive toward Horlivka, which has been controlled by the DPR since late 2014.[39][40]

2 March

Russian paratroopers landed in Kharkiv and started clashing with Ukrainian forces after an aerial assault according to Ukrainian military officials.[41] Zhyvytskyi stated that Russian forces had captured Trostianets, citing the city's mayor Yuri Bova. He added that Russian forces had entered the city at 01:03, destroying the gate to the Round Yard and an art gallery.[42]

A large Russian convoy of more than 60 vehicles entered Starobilsk on 2 March, but was stopped from advancing by protesting locals.[43] The Verkhovna Rada meanwhile stated that Russian shelling on Izyum killed eight people.[44]

The mayor of Konotop agreed to surrender the city.[45][46]

3 March

Ukrainian authorities stated on 3 March that 34 civilians were killed in Russian shelling in the past 24 hours.[47] The Russian Defense Ministry meanwhile claimed it had captured Balakliia.[48] The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine stated that Ukrainian forces had advanced along the state border of Sumy Oblast and recaptured territories.[49]

4 March

Synyehubov stated that the Ukrainian forces had launched a counterattack in Kharkiv Oblast, pushing the Russian forces advancing from the Sumy Oblast back beyond the state border.[50]

5 March

A ceasefire was declared in Volnovakha to allow civilians to evacuate, but was later scuttled with Ukrainian officials blaming it on Russian shelling continuing during the evacuation process. They added that about 400 civilians were still able to leave the city. Russian President Vladimir Putin however blamed Ukrainian forces for the breakdown of the ceasefire agreement.[51]

6 March

A second attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol was prevented as well, with both sides blaming each other.[52]

References

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