Reports are emerging that Ukrainian forces have now captured the key cities of Izyum and Kupiansk.
The BBC says that a number of pro-Russian Telegram channels have claimed Ukrainian forces now control half of Kupiansk, while Ukrainian sources have told the outlet that Kupiansk has been “completely liberated”.
BBC Russia also reports that pro-Russian channels have said Russian troops have left Izyum.
Other channels reportedly said Ukrainian troops were already in the city’s centre.
The Russian military blogger “Moscow Calling” wrote on his Telegram channel: “Advanced units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine enter Kupiansk.
“The city was not destroyed by the work of artillery ‘in squares’, as happens during the assaults of the RF Armed Forces, and there was no assault as such – the Russian military fled without any panic, abandoning their equipment.
He added: ” In the future, the qualitative superiority of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will lead to a radical change in the front lines, with the inevitable final – the defeat of the Russian Federation. It’s just a matter of time…