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AFU counteroffensive update: 6,000 km² of liberated territories, blackouts in Kharkiv, losses of elite Russian forces

Since the beginning of September, Ukraine has regained control of 6,000 km² of territory in a counteroffensive, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky says in his video address on the results of the 201st day of the war. Earlier, Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar made a similar statement.

The AFU General Staff reports during its morning briefing that over the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military successfully repelled Russian attacks at Zaitsevo, Bakhmut, Bakhmutskoye, Krasnohorivka, Vodyanoye, Bezymyannoye and Novohrihorivka settlements.

The Telegram Z-channel “Two Majors” wrote in a summary for the morning of September 13 that Russian troops had left several the settlements without a fight. Also it says that non-core Russian military forces continue to hold Krasny Liman for the third day. Earlier, some pro-Kremlin bloggers also expressed concern that the AFU would try to force the Seversky Donets near Zakitnoye (about 15 km southeast of Liman) in order to retake Yampol. The Institute for the Study of War says that the Liman-Yampol line is the next potential target for an AFU offensive.

In addition, according to ISW, Russian forces are leaving the eastern part of the Kharkiv region because they cannot fortify a new front line. Thus, it is reported that they have left Svatovo, Luhansk Oblast (about 45 km east of the current Ukrainian positions along the Oskol), and at the moment there are only “LNR” militia and local residents there.

Satellite imagery shows that all but four of the Russian military vehicles in Kiselevka (15 km northwest of Kherson) have withdrawn from their previous frontline positions. This confirms the information that “DPR” troops have left the village and withdrawn to the Dnipro River. Kiselevka is an operationally important point for Russian troops around Kherson. It’s the last major population center on the E58 highway and on the railway line between the current AFU positions and Chernobaevka, the most distant part of Kherson Oblast.

The Russian military again attacked Ukraine's communal infrastructure. Thus, due to the shelling, a reserve line supplying power to settlements in the Kharkov region failed, leaving the region without electricity. According to the AFU General Staff, airstrikes and MLRS fire damaged infrastructure facilities near Bilohorivka, Veselaya Dolina, Zaitsevo, Yurievka, New York, Pervomayskoye, Kam, Stepnoye, Malye Shcherbaki, Sukhoy Prud, Kostromka, Bila Krynytsya and Mirnoye.

British Intelligence wrote in its report for the morning of September 13 about problems inside the Russian army. According to the agency, some of the Russian troops withdrawn from the Kharkov region over the past week belonged to the 1st Guards Tank Army, subordinated to the Western Military District (ZVO). The unit suffered heavy losses in the initial phase of the war and did not have time to reform before the AFU counteroffensive. The 1st Guards Tank Army is one of the most prestigious Russian units, which in the event of war with NATO would have to defend Moscow.

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