Russian troops left behind a big cache of thousands of internal documents at their command post while fleeing the town of Balakliya in Kharkiv Region. According to recent analysis carried out by Reuters journalists, some were set on fire, but the majority are intact.

Reuters claims that the Russians made an active effort to combat the fact that they were being watched a few weeks prior to the start of the Ukrainian army’s counteroffensive. Their electronic warfare tools kept malfunctioning and HIMARS surface-to-air missile rockets began to land at command posts, which had a significant negative impact on the morale of the occupiers, who abandoned the town at the beginning of September.

The Russian Baltic Fleet’s 11th Army Corps were present in Balakliya and its surrounding area. Colonel Ivan Popov served as leader of the Balakliya group. Popov was, according to his wife, in charge of Russian forces in east Ukraine.

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One soldier with the call sign Granit served as the city’s commander. He was in charge of at least one room used for torture where people were beaten and electrocuted.

The documents that were left behind show that troops were in a terrible situation at the end of August; they had sustained significant losses, were disheartened, and some had even decided not to fight. Several units had just 20 percent of the necessary number of servicemen.

The documents also contained information about the mid-July battle for the village of Hrakove near Balakliya. Russian forces were engaged by Ukrainian forces, who forced them to flee. However, the Russian troop commander gave an order to resist giving up the village, and so the Russians despatched reinforcements.

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Even though they eventually managed to recapture the lost positions, they did so at the cost of at least one tank, two armoured personnel carriers, other machinery, 39 injured, seven killed, and 21 missing occupants, as well as other equipment.

At about the same time, Ukrainian forces carried out a HIMARS attack on a Russian facility, killing 12 servicemen. Russian troops had already come to the conclusion that Ukraine was organising an offensive on this front by the end of July. The occupiers then decided to bolster their battalions in this area, but by the end of August, they had only been able to enlist 71 percent of the number necessary.

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Kharkiv Region saw the start of September’s counteroffensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Izyum and Balakliya were among the 421 settlements that were freed from Russian occupation.

A mass grave of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians was discovered close to Izyum on Sep. 15. At least 447 corpses were discovered at a mass grave in Izyum, according to the Ukrainian State Emergency Service.

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