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War
Balakliya and its surroundings after de-occupation (PHOTOS)
15 September, 2022
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People receive humanitarian aid in Balakliya after the de-occupation of the city, Kharkiv Oblast, September 13, 2022
Balakliya was the first city that witnessed the launch of the large-scale counter-offensive of the Ukrainian Defence Forces in Kharkiv Oblast. See what the city and its surroundings look like now in our photo report.

The liberation of Balakliya was officially announced by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on September 8. After that, Ukraine de-occupied a number of other cities in the region, including Kupyansk and Izyum.

Locals in the liberated village of Verbivka near Balakliya waiting for humanitarian aid, Kharkiv Oblast, September 13, 2022
Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko / hromadske

The occupiers destroyed a school in Verbivka near Balakliya.

Зруйнована російськими обстрілами школа у селі Вербівка під Балаклією, Харківщина, 13 веренся 2022 року

A school destroyed by Russian shelling in the village of Verbivka near Balakliya, Kharkiv Oblast, September 13, 2022
Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko / hromadske

In Balakliya itself, in the city centre, people queued up in the morning to receive humanitarian aid. In total, more than 300 people stood in line.

People receive humanitarian aid in Balakliya after the de-occupation of the city, Kharkiv Oblast, September 13, 2022
Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko / hromadske

In the city center, houses are destroyed and streets are empty. Ukrainian flags can be seen on the monument to bard Taras Shevchenko.

The center of Balakliya, Kharkiv Oblast, September 13, 2022
Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko / hromadske

In the Balakliya police department, Russians set up a torture chamber where detainees and abductees were kept.

Balakliya police department, where the occupiers set up a torture chamber, Kharkiv Oblast, September 13, 2022
Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko / hromadske

Liberation of Kharkiv Oblast

The counteroffensive on this axis began in September. As of September 13, the Ministry of Defense reported that the Ukrainian military in the region had already liberated more than 150,000 people and over 300 settlements from occupation. However, this is only preliminary data – in fact, this number is even higher. It is known that Ukrainian forces entered the cities of Balakliya, Izyum, Vovchansk, and Kupyansk.