Ukraine announced the recapture of 9 villages in the first phase of the counter-offensive operation and announced tactical success against Russia.
Ukraine said on June 26 that its forces had regained control of the southeastern village of Rivnopil. According to Reuters, this is the ninth village Ukraine has claimed to have retaken this month in the first phase of a large-scale counter-offensive.
To this day, Ukraine has signaled that it has not fought a major battle in its campaign to regain territory from Russia.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar: “Ukrainian forces have brought Rivnopil back under our control.” The official did not specify when Kyiv regained the village west of an area Kyiv claimed to have regained control of last week.
Earlier, a 13-second video posted by Ukrainian ground forces showed a group of Kyiv soldiers standing in front of a building with the Ukrainian flag on it.
“Today, June 25, soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the 31st Mechanized Brigade recaptured the village of Rivnopil. The enemy withdrew, and we moved forward,” said one of the soldiers. said in the video.
In her previous announcement, Ms. Maliar announced that Ukraine had regained 130 square kilometers of the southern front since the counter-offensive was launched.
“There are territories that have been recaptured and we are still moving forward,” said Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, commander of Ukrainian forces on the southern front.
He said on June 24, Ukraine recaptured the Krasnohorivka region in the Donetsk region, which pro-Russian separatists have controlled since 2014.
Russia has not commented on Ms. Maliar’s statement regarding the recapture of Rivnopil.
Summarizing a week, the Deputy Minister of Ukraine said that the Ukrainian forces had fought fiercely in the past week and achieved “tactical success”.
Outside the South, Ms. Maliar said Ukrainian forces have conducted defensive and offensive operations on the Eastern front. In addition, Ukrainian forces are stepping up offensive operations near Melitopol and Berdiansk.
In Donetsk, heavy fighting is still going on near Lyman, Bakhmut. Maliar stated that Ukraine had gained momentum in all three directions north, south and west of Bakhmut.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Ukraine’s attacks over the past month are considered a period of preparation for a counter-attack. He predicted that when Ukraine waged a major battle, Kiev would succeed.
Ukrainian officials admit that Russia has built a very strong defense system. He also said that Ukraine’s counter-offensive campaign is expected to be too high at this stage.
Minister Reznikov stated that Ukraine is very careful when it comes to putting its soldiers in danger. He also said that Ukraine in 2023 will witness a turning point in counter-attack efforts.
Meanwhile, the Russian side said that it had built a 3-layer line in front of Ukraine’s advance. Moscow officials say that Ukraine has had a hard time breaking through the defenses that Russia has built over the past few months and that Kiev is suffering heavy damage when it launches a counter-offensive.