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As of the morning of September 8, the town of Balakleya which became the main direction of the Ukrainian attack in the Kharkov region is almost blockaded by Ukrainian fire but remains under Russian control. During the night there were two attempts to enter Balakleya from the western direction, but they were repelled by Russian forces.
North of Balakleya, the road leading to Volokhov Yar was cut by the AFU in several areas. The town of Volokhov Yar also came under Ukrainian control. Fighting along the highway continues.
Russian paratroopers, deployed to support the allied forces managed to repel numerous attacks on the village of Shevchenkovo. It is one of the key settlements used for supply of Russian main garrisons in the Kharkov region.
At the same time, the AFU are transferring reinforcements to the area preparing for new attacks on the roads and for the further offensive on Kupyansk. The local authorities declared evacuation of civilians from the Kupyansk district.
To the south of Balakleya, the AFU established control of the settlements of Bayrak and Krasnaya Gusarovka. They attempt to reach the road junctions near the settlements of Veseloye and Kunye in order to cut the supply roads to the Russian grouping in Izyum.
The Ukrainian offensive is ongoing amid the summit of the Kiev’s Western allies at the US air base in Ramstein in Germany. On September 8, Washington is expected to announce the supply of $675 million worth of weapons to the Ukrainian army. Kiev had to claim success in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the use of the foreign weapons. Ukrainian forces have fulfilled their minimum task.
So far, the offensive in the Kharkov region has been one of the major successes of the Ukrainian military on the front lines since the beginning of the Russian military operations in February.
Signs of the preparation of Ukrainian forces have been noted in recent weeks. Numerous eyewitnesses reported the concentration of the Ukrainian striking groups. However, it turned out that the Russian military did not take any action to strengthen defense in the area. The forward defense lines of the Russians were reportedly poorly fortified. There were no minefields. The military personnel consisted of the mobilized militia of the DPR. Moreover, their actual number was no more than 40 percent of the listed contingent. This tactical defeat of Russia can be compared with the loss of the cruiser Moscow. Both failures of the Russian military rooted in problems in the troop command system, which led to serious consequences. Also betrayal by the military command should not be excluded. At the same time, despite the successes of the Ukrainian units in the first days of the offensive, as of the afternoon of September 8, they have been unable to develop their successes.