Ukrainian soldiers remove pieces of metal while working on a bridge that was destroyed in fighting with Russian soldiers in Izium, eastern Ukraine. Photo: Francisco Seco/AP/NTB
A partially destroyed building in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine. Photo: Francisco Seco/AP/NTB
Ukrainian soldiers remove metal parts while working on a damaged bridge in Izium. Photo: Francisco Seco/AP/NTB
Ukrainian forces are continuing to advance into areas Vladimir Putin wants to integrate into Russia and have penetrated Russian lines at Kherson to the south.
Ukraine’s advance has now become so clear that even the Russian Defense Ministry was forced to acknowledge on Monday that it was taking place, writes the AP news agency.
– With numerically superior tank units in the direction of Zolota Balka and Oleksandrivka, the enemy managed to penetrate deep through our defenses, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Monday. the situation in Kherson.
It refers to two towns in Kherson, which is one of four occupied counties Russia annexed last week.
– Significant losses
At the same time, Konashenkov claims that Russian forces inflicted significant casualties on the Ukrainian army.
The press agency Reuters writes that this is the biggest Ukrainian breakthrough in the south of the country since the beginning of the war.
Ukrainian authorities provided little information about the advance. But Russian sources claim that the Ukrainian tank offensive advanced several tens of kilometers along the western bank of the Dnipro. Several villages are said to have been taken over along the way.
– The information is tense, let’s put it that way, because yes, there has been a breakthrough, Vladimir Saldo, the leader that Russia has appointed in the occupied parts of Kherson, declares on Russian state television.
Front line unchanged so far
He says the “breakthrough” happened in the village of Dudtsjani on the Dnipro River. Dudtsjani is about 30 kilometers south of where the front line was before the latest advance, according to Reuters.
Here, Russian forces have been in heavily fortified positions since the start of the invasion, and the front line has remained largely unchanged.
Since last summer, Ukrainian forces have struggled to retake Kherson, despite launching heavy attacks against Russian supply lines. The Ukrainian defense used the US-provided HIMARS missile system to repeatedly attack the main bridge over the Dnipro.
As the fighting rages, the lower house of the Russian National Assembly on Monday approved the incorporation of the Ukrainian counties of Kherson, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansk into Russia. This happens after so-called referendums organized by the Russian occupiers and which the UN and Western countries have deemed illegal.
Ukraine also reports progress in Luhansk. There, Governor Serhij Hajdaj claims that the village of Torske, 20 kilometers from the city of Kreminna, was recaptured. According to Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zzhdanov, the area is crucial for controlling the entire Lugansk region.
Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces recaptured the town of Lyman in Donetsk, which could pave the way for a further Ukrainian advance eastward. During the Russian occupation, Lyman was an important logistics and transportation center.
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