Ukrainian troops piled pressure on retreating Russian forces Tuesday, pressing deeper into occupied territory and sending more Kremlin troops fleeing ahead of the counteroffensive that has inflicted a stunning blow on Moscow’s military prestige.
As the advance continued, Ukraine’s border guard services said the army took control of Vovchansk — a town just 3 kilometers (2 miles) from Russia seized on the first day of the war. Russia has acknowledged that it recently withdrew troops from areas in the northeastern region of Kharkiv.
Russian troops were also pulling out from Melitopol, the second largest city in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, the city’s pre-occupation mayor said. His claim could not immediately be verified.
Melitopol has been occupied since early March. Capturing it would give Kyiv an opportunity to disrupt Russian supply lines between the south and the eastern Donbas region, the two major areas where Moscow-backed forces hold territory.