Northeastern Ukraine offensive

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Northeastern Ukraine offensive
Part of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and War in Donbas
Russian withdrawal from Northeastern Ukraine
Date24 February 2022 – 14 May 2022
(2 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
Location
Result

Ukrainian victory;

  • Russian forces capture Izium[4]
  • Russian withdrawal from Sumy Oblast on 4 April,[5] and Chernihiv Oblast on 6 April[3]
  • Unblocked city of Kharkiv[6]
  • Russian forces ejected
  • Ukrainian forces drive Russian forces back to the Russia–Ukraine border
Belligerents

 Russia

Supported by:
 Belarus[1][2]
 Ukraine
Commanders and leaders
Russia Vitaly Gerasimov  (Ukrainian claim)[7]
Russia Dmitry Safronov [8]
Russia Denis Glebov [8]
Unknown
Units involved

 Russian Armed Forces

 Ukrainian Armed Forces

Irregular civilian volunteers (militia)

  • Ukrainian guerrillas[13]
Casualties and losses
Per Ukraine:
534+ killed
424+ captured
Per Ukraine:
677+ killed
1063+ civilians killed
[14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

The Northeastern Ukraine offensive was a theatre of operation that occurred from 24 February to 14 May 2022 in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine for control of two provinces (oblasts) in UkraineChernihiv Oblast and Sumy Oblast.[24] On 4 April 2022, Ukrainian authorities claimed that Russian troops had mostly withdrawn from Sumy Oblast and were no longer occupying any towns or villages in that area.[5] Later that evening Ukrainian authorities claimed that Russian forces had withdrawn from Chernihiv Oblast,[25] which was confirmed by the Pentagon by 6 April.[3] On 14 May, the ISW reports that: “Ukraine thus appears to have won the battle of Kharkiv.”[26] The Mayor of Kharkiv said to the BBC: "There was no shelling in the city for the last five days. There was only one attempt from Russians to hit the city with a missile rocket near Kharkiv airport, but the missile was eliminated by Ukrainian Air Defence."[27]

Overview

The Northeastern Ukraine offensive was a major thrust by Russian armed forces into the northeastern provinces (oblasts) of Chernihiv and Sumy and their administrative capitals—Chernihiv and Sumy. Chernihiv was under siege for more then 5 weeks. A battle for control of Sumy Oblast's second city, Konotop, located 90 kilometres from the Russian border, was lost on 25 February.[28][29]

In Sumy Oblast, Russian forces nearly captured the city itself (located 35 kilometres from the Russian border) at the outset of hostilities, but in the ensuing Battle of Sumy, Ukrainian soldiers and militia engaged the Russian forces resulting in heavy urban fighting. According to Ukrainian sources, 100+ Russian tanks were destroyed and dozens of soldiers captured.[30] Fighting had also taken place in Okhtyrka.[31]

In an assessment of the campaign on 4 March, Frederick Kagan wrote that the "Sumy axis is currently the most successful and dangerous Russian avenue of advance on Kyiv." He noted that the geography favoured mechanized advances as the terrain "is flat and sparsely populated, offering few good defensive positions."[32]

While the Battle of Sumy raged, Russian forces moved further west along highways from Sumy, reaching Brovary, an eastern suburb of Kyiv on 4 March.[33] According to the Institute for the Study of War, since Russian forces failed to secure any new territory in this theatre since 8 March, it is possible that they may be redeploying forces that had been used in attacks on eastern Kyiv to defend against Ukrainian counterattacks in Sumy Oblast.[34]

On 2 April 2022 the whole of Kyiv Oblast, where Brovary is located in, was declared free of invaders by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense after Russian troops had left the area.[35]

On 4 April 2022 Russian troops had mostly withdrawn from Sumy Oblast and were no longer occupying any towns or villages in that area.[5] Later in the day Ukrainian authorities claimed Russian troops had also withdrawn from Chernihiv Oblast.[25]

On 14 May, the ISW reports that: “Ukraine thus appears to have won the battle of Kharkiv.”[26] The Mayor of Kharkiv said to the BBC: "There was no shelling in the city for the last five days. There was only one attempt from Russians to hit the city with a missile rocket near Kharkiv airport, but the missile was eliminated by Ukrainian Air Defence."[36]

Timeline

February

24 February

A burning bus along a road between Kharkiv and Kyiv
, 24 February

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a 'Special military operation in Ukraine' Russian forces crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border and began advancing towards Kharkiv. They met Ukrainian resistance, thus beginning the Battle of Kharkiv.[37] A Russian missile struck the Chuhuiv air base,[38] which housed Bayraktar TB2 drones. According to OSINT information the attack left damage to fuel storage areas and infrastructure.[39] Near Chernihiv, Russian forces struck Pivka airfield.[40] There were tank battles on the outskirts of Chernihiv and near Baturin.[41]

25 February

At 01:39, Russian forces reportedly retreated from the city of Sumy,[42] while Ukraine lost control of the city of Konotop[28][43] and Russian forces also entered Chuhuiv.[44] By the second day, Russian forces were present in or near Snovsk, Sosnytsia, Mena, Semenivka, Hrodna, Koryukivka and Novhorod-Siversky.[45]

BM-27 Uragan missiles hit a school in Okhtyrka,[46] killing a guard and injuring an unknown number of children and a teacher. However, Ukrainian forces put up heavy resistance, forcing the Russians to retreat.[47] Fierce fighting meanwhile continued in the northern outskirts of Kharkiv, especially in the village of Tsyrkuny.[48]

26 February

Clashes occurred in Sumy during the day between Russian forces and Territorial Defense Forces.[49] Russian forces reportedly managed to capture half of the city during the day, but Ukrainian forces repelled the attackers according to a Ukrainian official.[50] Three civilians were reportedly killed in shelling on Sumy.[14]

Dmytro Zhyvytskyi, the governor of Sumy Oblast, stated that six civilians were killed and 55 wounded in Russian shelling on Okhtyrka.[15] Russian forces west of Sumy reportedly advanced further westwards by the night, and were apparently 150 kilometres (93 mi) from Kiev.[51]

The governor of Kharkiv Oblast, Oleh Synyehubov, stated that the city of Kharkiv was still under Ukrainian control. He also announced a curfew for the city.[52] The Russian Defense Ministry later claimed that the 302nd Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kharkiv Oblast had surrendered during the day,[53] which was refuted by Ukrainian authorities.[54]

27 February

A number of Russian vehicles advanced into Sumy from the east on 27 February, while two women were reportedly killed around the Sumy Airport.[16]

In the early morning in Kharkiv, a gas pipeline was destroyed by Russian forces.[55] Russian light vehicles broke into the city,[56] with half of them reportedly destroyed by Ukrainian forces in ensuing fighting.[57] By the afternoon, Ukrainian officials stated that Kharkiv was still under Ukrainian control despite the overnight attack by Russian forces.[58][59]

Meanwhile, Hennadiy Matsegora, the mayor of Kupiansk, agreed to hand over control of the city to Russian forces and accused Ukrainian forces of abandoning it when the invasion began.[60] He was later accused of treason by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova.[61]

28 February

Russian forces bombed and destroyed an oil depot in Okhtyrka.[62] More than 70 Ukrainian soldiers were killed when their base in Okhtyrka was struck by a thermobaric bomb.[63][64]

March

1 March

An administration building is shelled in Kharkiv, 1 March

Russian paratroopers landed in Kharkiv during the early morning and started clashing with Ukrainian forces. Clashes also took place near a military hospital of the city as Russian paratroopers descended on it. Kharkiv Region Police Chief Volodymyr Tymoshko later stated that the situation was under control.[65]

The Verkhovna Rada and State Special Communications Service of Ukraine claimed that 33 vehicles of Belarusian forces had entered Chernihiv Oblast from the Belarusian city of Grodno. A United States official however stated that the US had seen no such activity and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko denied that his country's troops had entered Ukraine.[66] The governor of Chernihiv Oblast, Vyacheslav Chaus, stated that every access point to the city of Chernihiv was heavily mined.[67]

The Kruty Territorial Council later claimed that nearly 200 Russian soldiers were killed in clashes with Ukrainian armed forces and the Territorial Defense Forces in their village of Kruty, located in Chernihiv Oblast.[68]

That day, Russian forces captured Trostianets, who entered the city at 01:03, reportedly destroying the gate to the Round Yard and an art gallery.[69]

2 March

Authorities in the city of Konotop negotiatiated with Russian forces after the mayor stated that Russians had warned him not to resist them or they would destroy the city. An agreement was reached under which Russian forces accepted not to intrude in the city's functioning or deploy troops in return for the residents not attacking them.[70][71]

3 March

A Russian airstrike on the local power plant on 3 March cut off the electricity and heating supply in the city of Okhtyrka.[72] Five people were reportedly injured from shelling on buildings of the 27th Artillery Brigade and the military department at Sumy State University.[73] That day, Russia claimed it had captured Balakliia.[74]

4 March

Ukrainian forces launched a counterattack in Kharkiv Oblast, reportedly pushing the Russian forces advancing from the Sumy Oblast back beyond the state border.[75]

7 March

Ukraine claimed to have retaken Chuhuiv near Kharkiv in a counter-attack overnight and reportedly killed two Russian commanders: Dmitry Safronov, commander of the 61st Naval Infantry Brigade, and Lt. Col. Denis Glebov, deputy commander of the 11th Guards Air Assault Brigade.[8] During the day, Ukraine also claimed that it had killed Russian Maj. Gen. Vitaly Gerasimov, while also killing and wounding other senior Russian Army officers during a battle near Kharkiv.[7]

8 March

Ukraine stated that it had repelled an attack by Russian forces on Izium.[76] The first evacuation of civilians under an agreement between Ukraine and Russia took place during the day, with residents evacuating from Sumy.[77]

9 March

According to Lyudmyla Denisova, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Ukraine, four civilians were killed when a shell hit their home during the night in the village of Slobozhanske, located in Izium Raion.[17] In Velyka Pysarivka, three civilians were killed due to Russian bombing according to Zhyvytskyi.[18]

10 March

A senior US Defense Department official claimed that Chernihiv was now "isolated".[78] After 01:30, Russian airstrikes destroyed a gas pipeline in Okhtyrka. According to governor Zhyvytskyi, Russian shelling on the territory of the former Elektrobutprilad plant in Trostianets had killed three civilians.[18] At 14:20, Russian forces shelled the city of Nizhyn using BM-27 Uragan, reportedly killing two civilians.[19]

11 March

Two civilians were reportedly killed overnight due to Russian shelling in the village of Kerdylivshchyna in Sumy Oblast.[20] Ukrainian forces later claimed to have recaptured five settlements in the Chernihiv Oblast during the day, including Baklanova Muraviika, in addition to seizing two armored personnel carriers.[79] Russian shelling on Derhachi during the day repotedly killed three civilians.[21]

12 March

The Institute for the Study of War stated that it was likely that counterattacks by the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine threaten Russia's long line of communication in this theatre.[11] That day, Ukrainian forces reportedly recaptured two more settlements in the Chernihiv Oblast and prevented more Russian forces from advancing towards Kyiv.[80]

14 March

Two civilians were reportedly killed in Russian shelling on houses in Kharkiv, and a child was killed after Russian shelling hit a kindergarten in Chuhuiv.[22]

17 March

At least 21 people were reportedly killed following Russian shelling in Merefa.[23] During the day, the city of Izium was reportedly captured by Russian forces,[81] although fighting continues.[82]

24 March

Russia stated that by the morning of March 24, the city of Izium was completely under control of its units.[83] This claim was denied by Ukrainian officials.[84] The same day a city council deputy told CNN that Russians controlled the northern sector of the city while the southern part was controlled by the Ukrainians, with Russian forces attempting to surround them.[85]

31 March

After several weeks of attacks, and a month under siege, Ukrainian forces managed to break the encirclement of Chernihiv by recapturing a main road connecting Kyiv with the regional capital.[10]

April

1 April

Russian forces captured Izium after a long period of fighting.[4][86] According to local authorities 80% of Izium's residential buildings were destroyed in the battle.[87]

3 April

According to the Ukrainian government two Russian soldiers were killed and 28 others hospitalized after Ukrainian civilians handed out poisoned cakes to Russian soldiers of the Russian 3rd Motor Rifle Division in Izium.[88][89]

4 April

Governor Zhyvytskyi stated that Russian troops no longer occupied any towns or villages in Sumy Oblast and had mostly withdrawn, while Ukrainian troops were working to push out the remaining units.[5] Governor Chaus stated that the Russian military pulled back from the regional capital of Chernihiv, while "some troops" remained in the province.[90] Russian forces reportedly planted mines in many areas where they retreated from.[25]

6 April

The Pentagon confirmed that the Russian army left Chernihiv Oblast, while Sumy Oblast remained contested.[3]

8 April

Governor Zhyvytskyi stated that all Russians troops left Sumy Oblast. He added that the territory of the region was still unsafe due to rigged explosives and other ammunition left behind by Russian troops.[91]

Counterattack near Kharkiv

6 May

On 6 May, the ISW described a Ukrainian counteroffensive "along a broad arc" near Kharkiv, reporting that Ukraine had recaptured "several villages," including Tsyrkuny [uk], Peremoha [uk] and part of Cherkaski Tyshky [uk].[92] The ISW also reported that Ukraine "may successfully push Russian forces out of artillery range of Kharkiv in the coming days."[92]

7 May

On 7 May, it was reported that Ukrainian forces had successfully pushed back Russian forces stationed around Kharkiv, with the city getting further out of range for Russian forces.[93] The same day, Ukrainian forces also reported retaking five villages northeast of Kharkiv.[94] Quoting a Ukrainian official, The New York Times said that the battle for Kharkiv was not over, but that at the moment, Ukraine was dominating, and that Russian troops were destroying bridges as they were retreating.[95]

11 May

On 11 May, Ukrainian forces claimed to have recaptured four settlements. This counteroffensive, if successful, could bring Ukrainian forces within several kilometres of the Russian border.[96]

13 May

On 13 May, it was reported that Russia had decided to withdraw its forces from the Kharkiv Oblast.[97]

14 May

On 14 May, the ISW reports that: “Ukraine thus appears to have won the battle of Kharkiv.”[26] The Mayor of Kharkiv said to the BBC: "There was no shelling in the city for the last five days. There was only one attempt from Russians to hit the city with a missile rocket near Kharkiv airport, but the missile was eliminated by Ukrainian Air Defence."[98]

See also

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