Enthusiasts A Koupiansk, the Ukrainian counter-offensive as a challenge to the annexing plans of Moscow

10:10  30 september  2022
10:10  30 september  2022 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  A Koupiansk, la contre-offensive ukrainienne comme défi aux plans d'annexion de Moscou © AFP

L A Russia is preparing to annex sides of the East and South of the Ukraine , but In Koupiansk in the northeast, kyiv's troops always repel their opponent, threatening to its supply lines.

If Moscow intends to incorporate four regions of Ukraine on Friday, that of Kharkiv, an early target of the invasion, resisted the ambitions of the Kremlin, forcing his troops to withdraw thanks to a counter-offensive in early September.

These efforts continue with the resumption of the entire city of Koupiansk, on the Oskil river, reported journalists from the AFP on Thursday.

Ukrainian tanks and armored vehicles freely maneumed in this industrial city, until recently an nerve point of Russian logistics.

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The city is home to a bridge spanning the Oskil river, now seriously damaged, as well as a rail line used to supply Moscow troops.

"This is an important railway node which links to the Louganansk region and then to the Russian rail system," confirms the new chief of the military administration of Koupiansk, Andriï Kanachevitch, adding: "He was important for them ( the Russians) to control it ".

Russian forces tried to hold Koupiansk, despite the collapse of their front outside Kharkiv and their catastrophic retirement across northeast Ukraine, leaving damaged tanks in their wake.

Neither water, nor gas, nor electricity

on September 19, the west bank was already in the hands of the Ukrainians, but an artillery duel was in full swing and the shore was fiercely disputed.

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Thursday, for the first time, Koupiansk was safe enough for firefighters and volunteers to distribute food packages via the ruins of the bridge.

A corpse in Russian lattice lay nearby, under a cloud of flies, while doctors brought together sick or wounded civilians to the west on civilians.

"This is a Lada Kalina for her mother", quips one of the Ukrainian volunteers, in reference to the compensation offered by Moscow to the families of the killed soldiers.

Only the pedestrian crossing runs along the bridge is passable and around twenty people are necessary to pass from hand to the 2,000 rationing packages provided by the British. They are then loaded in a truck to be distributed in the freshly taken up areas.

, however, there must be at least one pontoon elsewhere on the Oskil, hidden from Russian journalists and drones, because Ukrainian shore troops are equipped with heavy vehicles.

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The tanks are deployed there with the infantry and despite the occasional finish of shells, the vast urban area is secure.

The battle caused water and electricity cuts and many civilians left, leaving Koupiansk with 10 to 15% of its pre-war population (27,000 inhabitants), according to the estimate of Mr. Kanachevitch.

Tuesday, Russian forces were still present in the industrial zone of Koupiansk-Vouzloviï, five kilometers further south, and civilians are only starting to get out.

"It was really hard. We were terrified ... without water, without electricity, without gas, without mobile connection," says Lioudmila Nagaïtseva, 52.

"like the prison"

An old man comes out, stagging and shouting. While his knees shy away and collapse on the ground, a doctor rushes to give him first aid.

The speed with which Koupiansk had fallen in the first days of the February invasion fueled the suspicions that part of the Russian -speaking population in the region was favorable to Moscow.

Most of the inhabitants encountered by AFP seemed relieved to be released by Ukraine, and some were crazy about joy. A man, Maxime Korolevski, 30, entrepreneur, assured that the city was betrayed.

According to him, "200 local guys" presented themselves at the recruitment center on the first day of the Russian invasion on February 24, to be said to come back the next day.

"But on February 25, Russian armored vehicles with flags and soldiers were there. What could we do? Nothing," he said, accusing former prorusian mayor Guénnadi Matsegora.

"Any pro-Ukrainian opinion was punished by Russia," he continues, evoking excavations and threats. "Seven months of occupation, it was like prison".

Russian soldiers and their flags have left Koupiansk today, but their "Z" recognition signs are still visible, painted on destroyed vehicles. Beside, puffy corpses in military boots.

30/09/2022 04:29:00-Koupiansk (Ukraine) (AFP)-© 2022 AFP

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