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Ukraine Recaptures Kharkiv as Putin Parlays With China

By Kate Morano | September 19, 2022

Ukraine reclaimed Kharkiv in a surprise offensive this past week amidst Russian attempts to shore up support in China.

Over 3,000 square miles of land are back under Ukrainian control, including most of the province of Kharkiv and the city of Izium, which Russia had been using to transport supplies. The unexpected attack forced Russian forces near Izium to rapidly retreat.

According to the New York Times, Ukrainian victory is still far from certain, with the country’s southern offensive gaining significantly less ground than in the north, and American intelligence officials have cast doubts on Ukraine’s ability to push Russian forces back over pre-invasion borders. However, the new offensive has strengthened public support in Europe and the United States for aid and weaponry to be sent to Ukraine.

“It is now beyond a doubt that Ukraine could have thrown Russia out months ago if they had been provided with the necessary equipment from day one,” Lithuanian foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Uzbekistan on Thursday with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China. While China had promised friendship to Russia in the days before that invasion, that friendship seems to be wavering, with Putin admitting to “questions and concerns” from China regarding Ukraine.

The humiliations suffered by the Russian army in Kharkiv this past week and in Kyiv in April, as well as China’s very public apprehension about Russia’s actions in Ukraine, has contributed to diminished support for the war among Russians. Overall, 81% of Russians supported the war in March 2022. In July, this number decreased to 75%, and it is expected to decrease even more in the coming months as Russia’s military continues to be humiliated in Ukraine.


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