Kyiv announced the liberation of more Ukrainian towns and cities on Tuesday night as Russian forces continue to be forced back across the border in the northeast – and as Ukrainian soldiers score victory after victory, a slew of videos have been shared online showing those soldiers celebrating.
A video published by the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service showed some of the ways Ukrainian soldiers celebrated their victories. The video showed some soldiers burning Russian flags and tearing down billboards and banners erected by the Russian military following their occupation.
One soldier raised his fists and cheered as he stood on a ladder after tearing down a banner, and the video ended with a clip of a destroyed Russian tank left abandoned at the side of a road.
This video published by Ukraine's State Border Guard Service shows the Ukrainian military in Vovchansk, a recently liberated city in Kharkiv Oblast less than 20 kilometers away from the Ukrainian-Russian border on Sept. 13. pic.twitter.com/h8yQAmtdOo
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) September 13, 2022
The video was first shared on YouTube with a caption describing how soldiers were removing the last “remnants” of Russian occupation from the town of Vovchansk, a border town in Kharkiv Oblast.
“The border guards removed the remnants of waste left by the occupiers in the Kharkiv region. Glory to Ukraine!” the caption reads.
Russian soldiers have been forced out of Kharkiv Oblast in the northeast, as well as regions of Luhansk Oblast, which was conquered by the Russians in July. Serhiy Hadai, the governor of Luhansk, said this week that local people raised the Ukrainian flag over the town of Kreminna, which he described as “completely empty.” Russian soldiers, he said, had either left the area or were too afraid to take the flag back down.
The Latest from Zelenskyy
In his Tuesday night address, Zelenskyy offered more information on his military’s territorial gains in recent days.
“The situation in the liberated territory of our state was analyzed in detail. As of now, stabilization measures have been completed in the districts with a total area of more than 4,000 square kilometers,” Zelenskyy said.
“Stabilization continues in the liberated territory of approximately the same size. Remnants of occupiers and sabotage groups are being detected, collaborators are being detained and full security is being restored.”
It follows previous claims from the Ukrainian president that his military had reclaimed 6,000 square kilometers in total – though the two statements are not in conflict. Previous claims from Kyiv described 6,000 square kilometers of reclaimed territory, while Zelenskyy’s latest comments describe 4,000 square kilometers of completely liberated and Ukrainian-controlled territory and a further 4,000 in the process of being secured.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.