The Ukrainian military on Thursday claimed more success in its counter-offensive against Russian forces on the southeastern front, a day after announcing the liberation of a village that had served as a Russian strongpoint.
The military said Ukraine had made progress to the south of Urozhaine, a village in Donetsk region that Kyiv said on Wednesday it had retaken as it tries to build momentum for a southward push into occupied areas towards the Sea of Azov.
“In the direction south of Urozhaine they (Ukrainian troops) had success,” military spokesman Andriy Kovaliov said on national television. He gave no more details.
Urozhaine was the first village Kyiv said it had retaken since July 27, a stretch of time that signalled the challenge Kyiv faces in advancing through heavily mined Russian defensive lines without powerful air support. It lies about 100km (60 miles) west of the Russian-held city of Donetsk.
Kovaliov also reported fierce fighting in the northeastern Kharkiv region, and around an eastern village not far from Bakhmut, the city occupied by Russian forces in May after a bloody months-long struggle.
“The enemy conducted unsuccessful offensive actions in the area of Senkivka in Kharkiv region and Bohdanivka in Donetsk. There are serious battles here,” he said. “In the Bakhmut direction, defensive forces (Ukraine) continue to conduct offensive actions to the south of Bakhmut.”
A Ukrainian general said on Wednesday that Russia was attacking towards Kupiansk, a town in Kharkiv region, but Kovaliov said Ukraine was holding them back, as well as Russian assaults to Bakhmut’s north and near the town of Lyman.
Russia controls nearly a fifth of Ukraine, including the peninsula of Crimea, most of Luhansk region and large tracts of the regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Kyiv says its counter-offensive is progressing slower than it wanted because of vast Russian minefields and heavily-fortified Russian defensive lines.
- A Reuters report