Following a surprise offensive by Ukrainian forces in Northeastern Ukraine, Russia acknowledged that it had lost over 1,000 square miles of previously-occupied land.
The Ukrainian military reportedly took back much of the greater Kharkiv region, a metropolitan area located roughly 20 miles away from the country’s eastern border with Russia.
The Russian military has managed to stay in control of the strategically-important city of Mariupol and maintain its grip on the Donetsk region. However, as the Russian defense ministry admitted on Sunday, significant swaths of formerly Russian-occupied northeastern Ukraine fell to the Ukrainian blitzkrieg.
As the blitz tore through the area, a Ukrainian intelligence spokesperson told AP News, Russian forces surrendered en masse.
“In some areas of the front, our defenders reached the state border with the Russian Federation,” stated Oleh Syniehubov, governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region.
Although Ukrainian authorities have not provided a specific number, the reclaiming of land has supposedly freed many Ukrainian prisoners of war previously held in Russian custody.
Ukrainian forces had also reportedly taken many Russian prisoners of their own.
During its retreat from the Ukrainian blitzkrieg, the Russian military cut off power and other utilities to the cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk, causing a “total blackout,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated.
As of Monday, around 80% of power had been restored to Kharkiv, according to the city’s mayor, Ihor Terekhov.
“Thanks to everyone who did everything possible on this most difficult night for Kharkiv to normalize the life of the city as soon as possible,” he wrote in Ukrainian on his Telegram account.
“It is now beyond doubt that Ukraine could have thrown Russia out months ago if they had been provided with the necessary equipment from Day 1,” said Gabrielius Landsbergis, foreign minister of Ukraine-allied Lithuania.
Zelenskyy continues to ask Western countries to send additional munitions and weapons to boost Ukraine’s war effort.