Russia’s Defence Ministry has said that they are pulling back forces from two areas in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region where a Ukrainian counter-offensive has made significant advances in the past week.
The Russian backed-local authorities in the north Kharkiv region have announced that the Russian military is leaving the area “temporarily”, reported CNN. The Military-Civic Administration of the Vovchansk district, through which many Russian supplies travel toward the front lines, said in a brief Telegram post, “Russian military are leaving Volchansk!![?] (Vovchansk) temporarily. City’s population continues to evacuate.”
The administration quoted a member of the Russian parliament, Evgeniy Evtushenko, as saying that the local headquarters would be moved across the border to the Russian city of Belgorod.
“To save civilians’ lives, Russian Armed Forces have decided to leave our city. (The) The city’s administration will be moved to Belgorod. Its branches will be in Kursk, Yakutsk, Vladivostok and St Petersburg till the situation in the city stabilizes,” Evtushenko said. “Russian armed forces will return control of all Russian land in the Kharkiv region,” he added.
Vovchansk has been an important link in the Russian military’s supply chain from Belgorod, and it remained under Russian control even as Ukrainian forces retook some territory north and east of the city of Kharkiv in May, reported CNN.