Much Anticipated Counter Attack Set in Motion, Russia Still Holding
Ukraine has revealed that it has recaptured a few localities that Russia had previously captured. The recovered localities include 3 villages and are the first reported results of the Ukranian counter-offensive.
Unverified videos of soldiers flying the Ukrainian flag above a destroyed structure in the Donetsk area town of Blahodatne and posing with their unit’s flag in the next village of Neskuchne were shared online by Kyiv’s forces. The villages are set to be in the southeast region of Ukraine.
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Ukrainian Counter-Attack Starts
According to Valeryi Shershen, spokesman for Ukraine’s “Tavria” military sector, “we’re seeing the first results of the counter-offensive actions, localised results” on television.
Later, Ukrainian forces had “unoccupied” Makarivka, the next settlement to the south, according to deputy defence minister Hanna Maliar. They had also made between 300 and 1,500 metres of progress in both directions on the southern front.
Maliar continued on Telegram, “No locations were lost on the directions where our forces are on the defensive.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that despite terrible fatalities and an ongoing Ukrainian military offensive, Russian defence lines had not been breached.
In his nightly video message, Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised his troops but neglected to identify the actual sites of the alleged combat.
Zelenskyy only mentioned the two main areas of the combat in the east and the south, adding, “Of course, I am grateful to our soldiers for this day.”
Zelenskyy said that “counteroffensive and defensive operations” were underway on Saturday, sending the clearest indication yet that Kyiv has begun its long-awaited counterattack to retake areas in the east and south.
Russia Still Holding Off Ukraine
Ukrainians have been advised not to share any intelligence that would jeopardise the operation, and Kyiv officials enforced a strict time frame for operational silence.
The footage from Blahodatne showed Ukrainian soldiers inside a severely damaged building while distant artillery boomed.
“We are expelling the enemy from our homelands. It’s the cosiest sensation imaginable.”
At least twice this week, Russia claimed to have thwarted attacks on the neighbouring town of Velyka Novosilka.
Fights on Water
The Ukrainian advances come after the Kakhovka dam in the Kherson region farther to the west was breached last week, causing flooding and necessitating the rescue of inhabitants from flooded areas.
As the Russian military bombarded three boats bringing primarily elderly evacuees to safety, 10 people were hurt and three people died, according to the newly appointed Ukrainian governor of the Kherson region.
To halt the Ukrainian advance, Shershen subsequently claimed in a radio broadcast that Russian forces had blown up a minor hydroelectric dam close to the scene of the most recent battles.
He said to Ukrainian NV Radio that “this resulted in the inundation of both sides of the Mokri Yaly River.” “However, this has no bearing on our counteroffensive operations.”
The seized southeast is thought to be a possible focus for Kyiv’s soldiers, who may want to cut off Russia’s land connection to the Crimean peninsula that has been annexed and divide Russian forces in half.
Mariupol, a city on the Sea of Azov on the southern rim of the land bridge, is located about 90 kilometres (55.92 miles) (northwest) from Makarikva. The main city was taken by Russia last year following a lengthy siege and bombardment.
To defend itself from a Ukrainian counterattack including tens of thousands of troops that the West has trained and armed, Russia has erected massive fortifications throughout the captured region.
Maliar added that Ukrainian forces had advanced 250 metres towards the nearby Berkhivka Reservoir and were continuing their assault operations in the east close to the damaged city of Bakhmut.
After the fiercest combat of Russia’s invasion in February 2022, Russia claimed to have taken the city of Bakhmut last month. However, Kyiv claims to have been reclaiming ground on the city’s flanks.
Separately, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced that a motorised infantry brigade had just pushed on the front line near the eastern city of Avdiivka and captured a Russian position, but it gave no further information.