- Russian troops were surrendering en masse, a spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence said
- Blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags fluttered over newly liberated towns
- The Ukrainian military said it had freed more than 20 settlements in 24 hours
Russia Ukraine war: In what can be termed a 'major victory', the Ukrainian troops retook a wide swath of Kharkiv territory from Russia on Monday. According to the details, the troops pushed all the way back to the northeastern border in some places and claimed to have captured many Russian soldiers as part of a lightning advance that forced Moscow to make a hasty retreat.
A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence said Russian troops were surrendering en masse as “they understand the hopelessness of their situation.”
A Ukrainian presidential adviser said there were so many POWs that the country was running out of space to accommodate them.
As blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flags fluttered over newly liberated towns, the Ukrainian military said it had freed more than 20 settlements in 24 hours.
In recent days, Kyiv's forces have captured territory at least twice the size of greater London, according to the British Defence Ministry.
After months of little discernible movement on the battlefield, the momentum has lifted Ukrainian morale and provoked rare public criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, the Russian Defence Ministry said troops would be pulled from two areas in that region to regroup in the eastern region of Donetsk.
There were reports of chaos as Russian troops pulled out.
In Kharkiv, authorities hailed that power and water had been restored to about 80 per cent of the region's population following Russian attacks on infrastructure that knocked out electricity in many places across Ukraine.
In Russia, there were some signs of disarray as Russian military bloggers and patriotic commentators chastised the Kremlin for failing to mobilize more forces and take stronger action against Ukraine.
Russia has continuously stopped short of calling its invasion a war, instead describing it as a “special military operation” and relying on on a limited contingent of volunteers instead of a mass mobilization that could spur civil discontent and protest.
Strikes in Kharkiv continued during daylight Monday when an administrative facility in the centre of the city was hit by a missile, setting part of it on fire and killing one person, regional Police Chief Volodymyr Tymoahko said.
Teams of firefighters battled flames licking the roof from the top floor as smoke billowed above the area.
The Ukrainian military also claimed to have found more evidence of human rights violations by Russian occupiers.
The first Ukrainian flag was raised over the city on Saturday, according to Strelnikov.
Residents, some wrapped in the country's flag, greeted Ukrainian forces and offered them food.
(With inputs from AP)