Ukraine says counteroffensive has liberated 5 villages in southeast


MUKACHEVO, Ukraine — Ukrainian troops urgent a tough counteroffensive towards occupying Russian forces have liberated a string of seven villages within the embattled Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia areas over the previous week, officers in Kyiv mentioned Monday.

If confirmed, the features would characterize modest however politically important territorial advances because the counterattack, which started in earnest final week, intensifies throughout Ukraine’s southeast.

4 of the villages — Neskuchne, Storozheve, Blahodatne and Makarivka — are south of Velyka Novosilka, one of many counteroffensive’s key beginning factors, near the border of the Zaporizhzhia area.

The villages are clustered on a roughly 5½-mile stretch of highway main south into occupied territory closely fortified by Russia. They’re about 80 miles north of the long-occupied metropolis of Mariupol, which was almost destroyed by heavy Russian bombing final 12 months.

The opposite communities — Lobkove, Levadne and Novodarivka — are in Zaporizhzhia.

Deputy Protection Minister Hanna Maliar additionally claimed Monday that Ukraine had retaken greater than six sq. miles close to the destroyed japanese metropolis of Bakhmut, which not too long ago fell to Russia after greater than eight months of fierce and bloody preventing.

“The battles are powerful, however our motion is there, and that is essential,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mentioned Monday in his night handle to the nation. “Though the climate nowadays is unfavorable — the rains make our process tougher — however nonetheless the power of our troopers offers outcomes.”

Ukrainian officers made no point out of the losses incurred as a part of the advance, although they’ve warned not too long ago that their forces are more likely to endure excessive casualties as they attempt to claw again land from Moscow. The give attention to such a small stretch of territory underscored the tough nature of the counteroffensive and the chance that features, if any, can be measured in minute increments.

Putin needed Kherson. Now, residents say Russia is attempting to destroy it.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian Volunteer Military posted a video during which its members posed with their battalion colours within the village of Neskuchne. The Washington Submit couldn’t independently confirm the video or others purporting to point out the liberations.

A video from Ukraine’s thirty fifth Separate Marine Brigade on Monday reportedly confirmed its forces elevating the Ukrainian flag and marching via the village of Storozheve, whereas the 68th Separate Jaeger Brigade confirmed footage mentioned to be from Blahodatne.

“The operation started at about 5 a.m.,” a soldier, recognized solely by his name signal, “Doc,” mentioned within the Storozheve video. “The enemy resisted with its artillery to start with. We managed to take the initiative into our personal fingers and retake the village home by home.”

Rob Lee, a senior fellow on the Overseas Coverage Analysis Institute and a navy skilled, mentioned that though “the villages by themselves usually are not important,” the bulletins indicated that Ukrainian forces had been “making progress.”

“I feel it’s going about because it ought to have been anticipated,” Lee mentioned. “But it surely’s going to be a tricky battle on condition that they’re going into ready defensive positions and Russia’s been making ready these traces for a number of months.”

The speed of attrition on each side will probably be a key issue because the marketing campaign unfolds, Lee mentioned. “That is going to be a protracted offensive,” he predicted, mentioning that Ukrainian forces’ offensive to take again the southern metropolis of Kherson began in August, however “they made their first substantive features in October.”

Political dangers rise for Putin as Ukraine’s counteroffensive begins

Russia’s Protection Ministry claimed in a press release to have repelled assaults within the Donetsk area, starting in Vremivka, the primary city alongside the highway south from Velyka Novosilka.

“Decisive actions of defending items, artillery hearth and heavy firing techniques of the Vostok Group of Forces repelled three enemy assaults from the path of [Velyka Novosilka],” the Russian Protection Ministry mentioned.

In the meantime, emergency operations continued Monday in Ukraine’s southern Kherson area, after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam final week. Russia and Ukraine have blamed one another for attacking the dam.

Oleksandr Prokudin, the pinnacle of the regional navy administration, mentioned that water continues to recede, although 32 cities stay inundated in Ukrainian-controlled territory on the western and northern banks of the Dnieper River and greater than 2,700 folks have been evacuated.

In Russian-occupied areas to the east and south, 14 cities had been nonetheless affected, Prokudin added, saying the scenario there “stays essential.”


Assaults on bridges or dams since Feb. 24, 2022

Space held by

Russia-backed

separatists

since 2014

Annexed by

Russia

in 2014

Word: Knowledge is thru Feb. 17. Every occasion could embrace a number of

particular person strikes. Some occasions is probably not included within the map

as a consequence of information availability.

Supply: Armed Battle Location & Occasion Knowledge Venture

SAMUEL GRANADOS / THE WASHINGTON POST

Assaults on bridges or dams since Feb. 24, 2022

Space held by

Russia-backed

separatists

since 2014

Annexed by

Russia

in 2014

Word: Knowledge is thru June 7. Every occasion could embrace a number of particular person strikes.

Some occasions is probably not included within the map as a consequence of information availability.

Supply: Armed Battle Location & Occasion Knowledge Venture

SAMUEL GRANADOS / THE WASHINGTON POST

Final week, video and photographic imagery indicated that Ukraine’s navy suffered important losses of kit, together with some Leopard battle tanks not too long ago acquired from its Western allies.

At a gathering in Paris on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda mentioned the query of NATO membership for Ukraine.

Ukrainian officers and a few European international locations have pushed for a clearer path to membership forward of an annual NATO summit in July, whereas different international locations favor to give attention to short- and medium-term safety help, leaving the membership debate for later.

In latest weeks, the Biden administration and NATO allies have been sketching out plans for navy help past the present offensive, with discuss of bilateral or multilateral safety pacts.

U.S. Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby mentioned Monday that he would chorus from “offering an armchair evaluation of this offensive.”

“We’re going to remain targeted on ensuring that Ukraine can succeed on the battlefield,” he added.

Natalia Abbakumova in Riga, Latvia, and Emily Rauhala and Beatriz Ríos in Brussels contributed to this report.

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