Day 198: Ukraine retakes 30 villages in Kharkiv region, Russia shells central Kharkiv with multiple launch rocket systems

Artillery strike on Kharkiv: three children wounded, kindergarten on fire

On Friday, September 9, the Russian forces shelled Kharkiv from multiple launch rocket systems. Fourteen people were wounded, including three children, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration Oleh Synehubov said. The Russians fired Uragan systems, preliminary reports said. The strike hit apartment buildings and education facilities, and caused a fire to break out in a number of buildings, including a kindergarten. 

The wounded children are ages 3, 11, and 15. They are in hospital in a fair condition. There is no threat to their lives.  

Counteroffensive in Kharkiv region continues

The Ukrainian troops recaptured more than 30 villages in Kharkiv region, president Zelenskyi said on the evening of September 9.  

Ukraine’s armed forces, intelligence, and security service continue successful operations on several axes, Zelenskyi said in an evening video address. 

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces have regained control of more than 30 villages in Kharkiv region,” the Ukrainian President said. 

On September 9, the Security Service of Ukraine released photos of liberated Vysokopillya, in Kherson region, and Balakliya, in Kharkiv region.

The National Guard confirmed that the Ukrainian troops had retaken Volokhiv Yar, in Kharkiv region. The Telegram channel “Kharkiv Life” posted photos of Ukrainian service members holding a Ukrainian flag near the city sign at the entrance to Kupyansk, in Kharkiv region.

“The Ukrainians saved their country,” retired General Ben Hodges, former commanding general of the United States Army Europe, told Newsweek. Ukraine will restore full sovereignty, to include Crimea within the next year, he added.

The Russian forces declared an “evacuation” from the occupied territory of Kharkiv region, after the Ukrainian troops launched counteroffensive and recaptured several villages, Russian propaganda media TASS and RIA Novosti said, quoting the Russian-installed head of the Kupyansk district in Kharkiv region Maksym Gubin. The “evacuation” was declared for Izyum, Kupyansk, and Velykyi Burluk, in Kharkiv region.  

Black Sea Security: Romania and Ukraine answering the Russian challenge. Ukraine in Flames #183

As one of Ukraine’s neighbors, Romania has been directly impacted by the large-scale Russian invasion. From welcoming close to 3.5 million refugees – although many did not stay in Romania, it was still a challenge – to the growing security concerns in the Black Sea, Romania has many factors that shape its position on the Russian aggression. One of these factors is historical context. Ukraine In Flames #183 unpacks all these issues.


  • Iulian Chifu, State Counselor of the Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, Security and Strategic Affairs, Romania
  • Rufin Zamfir, Programme Director at GlobalFocus, Romania