Battle of Balakliia

Battle in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Battle of Balakliia
Part of the 2022 Ukrainian Kharkiv counteroffensive of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
UA flag in liberated Balakliia 01.png
Date6–8 September 2022
(2 days)
Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast
Result Ukrainian victory
 Russia  Ukraine
Commanders and leaders
Russia Roman Berdnikov[1]
Russia Aleksandr Lapin
Ukraine Oleksandr Syrskyi[2]
Units involved

 Russian Armed Forces

  • Rosgvardiya
  • Samara SOBR[3]
  • Russian Airborne Forces

 Ukrainian Armed Forces

  • 92nd Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade SSI.svg 92nd Mechanized Brigade[4]
  • 25 ОПДБр к.svg 25th Airborne Assault Brigade[5]
  • Kraken logo.png Kraken Regiment
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown
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The Battle of Balakliia was the first battle of the Ukrainian Kharkiv counteroffensive that began on September 6, 2022.


During the early days of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian forces captured much of eastern Kharkiv Oblast, including the towns of Kupiansk, Shevchenkove, and Balakliia.[6] Balakliia itself was captured on March 3, 2022, without much of a fight. From March to early May, most of the fighting in Kharkiv Oblast was concentrated in the cities of Kharkiv and Izium.[7]

In early April, Russian forces captured Izium, and Ukrainian forces successfully defended Kharkiv by early May.[8][9] After that, the frontline began to stagnate as Russia and Ukraine focused their efforts on the cities of Sievierodonetsk, Lysychansk and the wider Donbas region.[10]

Throughout July and August 2022, Ukrainian and Russian media both amplified claims of a Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast, which finally culminated on August 29, 2022.[11] The counteroffensive saw slow progress, with Ukrainian forces suffering heavy losses and facing a stiff Russian resistance.[12] However, on September 6, Ukrainian forces launched a surprise counteroffensive in eastern Kharkiv oblast, with fighting for Balakliia beginning on the first day.[13]


On September 6, Ukrainian forces launched an offensive towards Balakliia, after having concentrated lots of forces near the area.[14] On the first day, they liberated Verbivka [uk], a suburb northwest of Balakliia.[15] Russian forces stationed in Balakliia blew up bridges to slow the Ukrainian advance from Verbivka, although Ukrainian forces went around the town instead to besiege it.[14] Some Ukrainian forces stayed near Balakliia, fighting Russian forces in the center of the city while another group went north towards Volokhiv Yar.[16]

By September 7, Balakliia was under siege, with fighting taking place in the eastern and central parts of the city.[17] Fighting ended on September 8, with Ukrainian forces liberating all of Balakliia.[18][failed verification]


During the days after the battle, Ukrainian forces liberated Kupiansk on September 9,[19] Izium on September 10,[20] and Velykyi Burluk and Vovchansk on September 12.[21] The counteroffensive stalled after September 12, as news teams, Ukrposhta, and other organizations were let into eastern Kharkiv oblast.

On September 14, Ukrainian police officers found evidence of a torture chamber that housed 40 civilians in the basement of the Balakliia police station.[22] The locals that remained in the city claimed that unlike other areas under Russian occupation like Bucha and Irpin, Russian occupation forces were generally much more tame in their treatment of civilians.[22]

See also

  • flagUkraine portal
  • flagRussia portal
  • War portal


  1. ^ "Командувача військ західного округу РФ Берднікова зняли з посади після успішного наступу ЗСУ на Харківщині". Цензор.НЕТ (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-09-12.
  2. ^ Ministry of Defence of Ukraine [@DefenceU] (10 September 2022). "[...] The Commander of Ukrainian Land Forces, Hero of Ukraine, Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi is leading the Ukrainian offensive in this sector. [...]" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 11 September 2022. Retrieved 11 September 2022 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Бойцы российского СОБРа совершили настоящий подвиг в Балаклее — Гагин".
  4. ^ Gerashchenko, Anton [@Gerashchenko_en] (2022-09-11). "Warriors of the 92nd Mechanized Brigade found an army electrician's "Manual for taking over the world" in Russian positions near Balakliia, Kharkiv Oblast. All the notes were made by hand. Straightaway we can see the power of the Russian army." (Tweet). Retrieved 2022-12-05 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ "Occupiers say they have left Izium and other settlements, while Ukrainian troops show a video: We are in Izium".
  6. ^ "Ukrainian city of Balakliya freed from nationalist battalions - Russian Defense Ministry". Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  7. ^ "Why Kharkiv, a city known for its poets, has become a key battleground in Ukraine". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  8. ^ "Kharkiv region: Armed Forces of Ukraine push Russian troops back and liberate 2 towns". Ukrayinska Pravda. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  9. ^ "The russians are controlling Izyum - General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces". Militarnyi. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  10. ^ "Russian forces have 'upper hand' in Donbas fighting, Ukrainian officials say". the Guardian. 2022-05-26. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  11. ^ Bickerton, James (2022-09-13). "Seven key takeaways from Ukraine's counteroffensive". Newsweek. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  12. ^ Hudson, John (September 7, 2022). "Wounded Ukrainian soldiers reveal steep toll of Kherson offensive". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 15, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Ukraine's southern offensive 'was designed to trick Russia'". the Guardian. 2022-09-10. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  14. ^ a b "RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, SEPTEMBER 6". Institute for the Study of War. Archived from the original on 2022-09-08. Retrieved 2022-09-09.
  15. ^ Balmforth, Tom (2022-09-14). "In liberated Ukraine town, locals sob with relief, relate harrowing accounts". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  16. ^ "Ukrainian Balakliya-Kupyansk Offensive: Sequence of Events, Mechanics and Consequences". Jamestown. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  17. ^ Oliphant, Roland; Barnes, Joe (2022-09-06). "Ukraine launches surprise attack near Kharkiv in bid to push back Russians". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  18. ^ "Institute for the Study of War". Institute for the Study of War. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  19. ^ ""ЗСУ сьогодні в ударі". Українські військові вже на в'їзді до Куп'янська — фото". (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  20. ^ "Окупанти заявили, що пішли з Ізюма та інших населених пунктів, захисники показали відео: Ми в Ізюмі". Українська правда (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  21. ^ "Українські військові звільнили та "зачистили" від окупантів північний схід Харківщини". ZAXID.NET (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  22. ^ a b "Balakliia residents take stock after Ukraine recaptures frontline town". the Guardian. 2022-09-13. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
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