Abandoned Russian tank following Ukraine's advance
On Saturday, Russia admitted it was withdrawing from Izium, one of its biggest losses of territory in the 200 days of conflict (Picture: Valery Zauzhnyi).
Ukraine

Ukraine makes 'significant gains' in huge counter-offensive

Abandoned Russian tank following Ukraine's advance
On Saturday, Russia admitted it was withdrawing from Izium, one of its biggest losses of territory in the 200 days of conflict (Picture: Valery Zauzhnyi).

Ukrainian forces have reclaimed large parts of territory in a two-pronged offensive in the south and east of the country.

British Defence Intelligence described "significant gains in the Kharkiv region" in the east, over the past 24 hours.

On Saturday, Russia admitted it was withdrawing from Izium, one of its biggest losses of territory in the 200 days of conflict.

Ed Arnold, a defence analyst at the Royal United Services Institute and former infantry officer, said of the counter-offensive: "It's got patience, strategy, analysis, a plan, execution and (thus far) exploitation.

"As an ex military planner, I am in awe. Very rarely see altogether."

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky praised his military, saying they had taken 770 square miles back from Russia this month.

He said the Russian army was "demonstrating the best it can do – showing its back" and "they made a good choice to run".

Michael Kofman, an expert on the Russian military at the US think tank CNA, said the counter-offensive "has proven a very significant victory for Ukraine".

"Russian forces appear to have been spread thinly, and military leadership unprepared despite earlier evidence of Ukrainian build-up.

"I think it's fair to assess that Russia was caught by surprise with little in the way of reserves locally available."