Ukraine counter-offensive: Kyiv says it has liberated villages in the Donetsk region
Ukraine says it has liberated three villages in the southeast of the country in the first victories of its much-anticipated counter-offensive.
Social media videos showed Ukrainian soldiers having a good time in the nearby Donetsk settlements of Blahodatne and Neskuchne.
The nearby Makarivka was also taken, according to Kyiv’s deputy defense minister.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president, announced on Saturday that the counteroffensive had started.
These three settlements would be the first to be freed following his remarks, but they wouldn’t be the first ones that Ukraine has retaken since Monday when small groups of its forces started advancing in the south of the nation.
Moscow has not yet confirmed that any of the villages have fallen, choosing to speak of fending off Ukrainian incursions in the area.
In other news, Ukraine claims that Russia has destroyed a second dam in the Zaporizhzhia region, following the major Nova Kakhovka dam’s collapse on Monday, which resulted in extensive flooding.
Russian forces, who have had control over it since February 2022, are accused by Ukraine of blowing up the dam.
According to Ukrainian military spokesman Valeriy Shershen, Moscow’s forces decided to detonate a second dam close to the village of Novodarivka, which “caused flooding on both banks of the Mokri Yaly river.”
According to Mr. Shershen, Russia is purposefully detonating dams in the area to halt Ukraine’s advance on occupied territory.
In place of taking responsibility for blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam, Russia has accused Ukraine.
Ukraine counter-offensive:‘Under the Ukrainian flag again’
Pro-Ukrainian accounts on social media posted videos of Kyiv showing troops hoisting the Ukrainian flag in front of a burned-out structure in Blahodatne.
Additionally, the state border guard released videos of Kyiv’s forces declaring that “Neskuchne of the Donetsk region is under the Ukrainian flag again” before yelling the nation’s now-signature battle cry, “Glory to Ukraine.”
In the meantime, Makarivka village was also taken, according to a Telegram video by Ukraine’s deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar.
The gains, according to an army spokesperson, were the counteroffensive’s first small-scale victories.
The three villages were taken, but despite being the biggest gains in recent days, the settlements are quite small. The pre-war population of Blahodatne was only 1,000 people.
Some analysts have speculated that Ukraine may attempt to retake the port city in the upcoming months. The village, which has been the scene of fierce fighting in recent days, is located on the road leading to Mariupol.
Others have hypothesized that Kyiv wants to cut off Russian troops on the peninsula by destroying the land connection that connects occupied Crimea and Donetsk.
Further east, it is also reported that Ukrainian forces have moved closer to Bakhmut, a destroyed city that was the scene of a protracted and bloody conflict between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
Senior Kyiv officials have shied away from commenting on the specifics of the advance.
Plans love silence, a catchphrase that has come to represent the counteroffensive’s secrecy, was repeated in a video that Ukraine’s mysterious head of intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, released on Sunday.
Although the scope of Ukraine’s operations is still unknown, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) reported on Saturday that the country’s forces were engaged in at least four front-line attacks.
When examining Russian defenses, Ukraine has experienced some setbacks. According to a group of Ukrainian soldiers who spoke with the AFP news agency, on Thursday, an attack in the southeast of the province of Zaporizhzhia resulted in the loss of several brand-new Bradley fighting vehicles.
They claimed that six out of the nine vehicles were totaled and added that they believed their plans had been leaked.
Analysts have called attention to the challenges Ukraine faces when attempting to breach Russian defenses that have been beefed up for months.
However, in other areas, Kyiv’s troops are alleged to have breached the front lines over the weekend using mechanized attacks with the deployment of German Leopard-2 tanks.
Meanwhile, in Russia’s Belgorod region, bordering Ukraine, rail traffic was suspended after a freight train derailed on Saturday night. Belgorod’s border areas have been hit by drones, shelling, and cross-border raids in the past few weeks.
Further north, the governor of the Kaluga region, Vladislav Shapsha, said there had been two drone crashes – one near the village of Strelkovk and the other in a forest.
All the information of this news collected from BBC news