Ukraine reported driving back Russian soldiers in a counterattack on Wednesday (May 11), perhaps signalling a shift in the war’s momentum and shutting down gas shipments via Russian-held territory, heightening the spectre of an energy crisis in Europe.

The general command of Ukraine’s armed forces said that Pytomnyk, a village on the major route north of Kharkiv, roughly halfway to the Russian border, had been regained.

“The occupying forces went to defence in order to hinder the speed of our troops’ attack,” it stated. “The Pytomnyk village was freed.”

After days of advances north and east of Kharkiv, a Ukrainian military source claimed on condition of anonymity that Ukraine’s soldiers were only a few kilometres from the Russian border by Wednesday morning.

Russian military had previously been stationed on the outskirts of Kharkiv, a city 40 kilometres from the Ukrainian border.

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