Ukraine’s military says its forces have retaken over 3,000 sq km (1,158 sq miles) during a rapid counter-offensive in eastern Ukraine.

The remarkable advance, if confirmed, means Kyiv’s forces have tripled their stated gains in little over 48 hours.

President Zelensky put the figure at 1,000 sq km on Thursday evening, and then 2,000 sq km on Saturday evening.

Reports say, the eastern counter-attack saw Ukrainian troops enter the vital Russian-held supply towns of Izyum and Kupiansk.

Russia’s defence ministry confirmed its forces’ retreat from Izyum itself and Kupiansk, which it said would allow them”to regroup” in territory held by Moscow-backed separatists.

The Russian ministry also confirmed the withdrawal of troops from a third key town, Balaklyia, in order to “bolster efforts” on the Donetsk front. Ukrainian forces entered the town on Friday.

Meanwhile President Volodomyr Zelensky accused Russia of targeting critical infrastructure in Ukraine’s east in response – leaving large swathes of territory in “total blackout.”

Power was cut off completely throughout the entire Kharkiv and Donetsk regions depriving people of “light and heat”, Ukraine’s leader claimed on Twitter.

Outages were also reported in several other areas near the frontline yesterday.

BBC

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