The Russian defense ministry announced the retreat of its forces from key Ukrainian towns.
The ministry made the rare admission on Saturday that it would pull back its troops from two areas in Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region where the country has made significant advances against Russia this week.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the move comes “in order to achieve the stated goals of the special military operation to liberate Donbas,” referring to one of the eastern Ukraine regions declared sovereign by Russia.
Mr. Konashenkov said the troops would be regrouped from Balakliya and Izyum to Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
Ukrainian troops moved into Balakliya earlier this week. Videos on social media showed Ukrainian residents cheering as they made counter offenses against Russian forces.
The war in Ukraine has been ongoing for over six months ago.
The vast majority of the West has strongly condemned and ostracized Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.