Russia launches cruise missiles at Ukraine after Zelenskyy visits retaken city

“Our soldiers are here. That’s a very important thing. It supports people,” Zelenskyy said. “I see how people meet them, in what a sensitive moment. It means that with our army, the life comes back.”

Ukrainian troops have recently carried out a dramatic counteroffensive that has allowed them to recapture large swaths of territory around Kharkiv and inflict a stunning blow on Moscow’s military prestige.

Ukraine’s counteroffensive has left more weapons in the hands of its forces as Russian troops most likely left behind dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other heavy weaponry as they fled Ukraine’s advance in the east of the country, a Ukrainian think tank said Wednesday.

The Center for Defense Strategies said one single Russian unit that was around Izyum left behind 39 T-80 tanks and 35 infantry fighting vehicles, known by the acronym BMP. Another unit left behind 47 tanks and 27 armored vehicles.

The center said Russian forces tried to destroy some of the abandoned vehicles through artillery strikes as they fell back. Typically, armed forces destroy equipment left behind so their opponent can’t use it.

However, the chaos of the Russian withdrawal apparently saw them leave untouched ammunition and weapons behind.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy poses for a selfie with a police officer in Izyum on Wednesday. Leo Correa/AP

In other areas, Russia has continued its attacks over the past day, causing the death toll to keep rising in the war that has now dragged on for more than seven months.

Two people were killed and three injured after Russia attacked Mykolaiv with S-300 missiles overnight, said regional Gov. Vitaliy Kim. An educational institution, infrastructure objects and residential buildings were damaged. Settlements near the front line in Mykolaiv region remain under constant fire.

The Nikopol area, which is across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, was shelled three times during the night, but no injuries were immediately reported, said regional Gov. Valentin Reznichenko. Nikopol city itself was shelled two times and left almost 3,000 families without electricity. Reznichenko said the electricity has been partially restored.

In the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces have retook more than 300 cities and villages, the process of demining is underway; three people have been injured over the past 24 hours.

In the neighboring Luhansk region, where some of the Russian troops retreated from the Kharkiv region, mobile internet has been shut down, according to the region’s governor, Serhiy Haidai, and intense shelling of Ukrainian forces continues.

The fighting continued in the Donetsk region as well. Avdiivka, Bakhmut and Kramatorsk have come under a barrage of shelling, which killed five civilians and wounded 16 more.

“Every night in Donbas is restless. The civilians should leave the region. It’s a matter of life and death,” Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

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