Ukrainian army recaptured Piatykhatkya village in the western part of the Zaporizhia region, Kiev achieved its second victory on that front since launching its counteroffensive earlier this month.
A Russian-installed official in the partially occupied Zaporizhia region, Vladimir Rogov, said Ukraine had taken “operational control” of the settlement and that the Russian military was trying to counterattack with artillery fire.
“The enemy’s ‘waveform’ attacks have paid off, despite the enormous losses,” Rogov said on the Telegram messaging app.
There was no immediate comment from Ukraine on the situation and Al Jazeera could not independently confirm the battlefield reports. Ukraine on June 12 said it had taken control of Lobkove, a village next to Piatykhatky.
Zaporizhia has been the site of some of the most intense fighting since the counter-offensive began, according to a UK intelligence assessment on Sunday. He said fighting was also taking place around the city of Bakhmut and the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine is attacking in these areas and “making small progress”, it said, adding that Russian forces were conducting “relatively effective defensive operations” in the south of Ukraine. .
Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the government of the southwestern Ukraine Odesa region, said Ukrainian forces destroyed a “very important” ammunition depot near the Russian-occupied port city of Henichesk in nearby Kherson province.
“Our armed forces dealt a heavy blow in the morning,” Bratchuk said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel.
Western analysts and military officials have warned that a Ukrainian counter-offensive aimed at dislodging Russian forces from occupied areas along the 1,000 km (620 mi) frontline could last for a while. long time.
The Russian Defense Ministry did not mention Piatykhatky in its daily update, which said its forces repelled Ukrainian attacks in three areas of the front line. A separate statement from Russia’s Vostok force group said Ukraine had failed to settle.
Ukraine’s military said on Sunday that in the previous 24 hours, Russia had carried out 43 air strikes, 4 missile strikes and 51 missile launches.
According to its statement, Russia continues to focus on offensive operations in the industrial east of Ukraine, centered around Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Marinka and Lyman in the Donetsk region, with 26 clashes taking place. go out.
‘No chance’, Putin said
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday praised Ukrainian forces for repelling “very effectively” enemy attacks near Avdiivka.
He also described the southern front as “the most brutal” and expressed gratitude for the soldiers fighting there.
Meanwhile, the boss of Russia’s Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhinsays that 32,000 men who fought with his group of mercenaries from prison have returned home after ending their contracts in Ukraine.
Prigozhin toured Russian prisons to recruit fighters, promising a pardon if they survived half a year of frontline service with Wagner. In an interview last month, Prigozhin said he recruit 50,000 prisonersabout 10,000 of them were killed in Bakhmut.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who rarely comments on the course of the war, issued two unusually detailed interventions last week in which he mocked Ukraine’s push and said Kiev’s forces “have no opportunity” despite being equipped with new Western tanks.
His comments appear to be intended to reassure the Russians at a crucial time, nearly 16 months after the conflict, as Ukraine seeks to break months of virtual stalemate and regain 18% of its territory still under its control. Russian control.
Meanwhile, the United Nations said on Sunday that Russia “has so far denied our request for access to areas under its temporary military control” after destroying Nova Kakhovka dam on June 6 in the area south of Kherson released 18 cubic kilometers of water submerging villages and farmland.
“The United Nations will continue to engage to seek the necessary access. We call on the Russian authorities to act in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law,” Denise Brown, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said in a statement. “Aid cannot be denied to those who need it.”
Zelenskyy accused Russia deliberately blow up dam, calling it a “war crime” and “brutal ecological destruction”. Moscow has denied causing the explosion. Its soldiers were in control of the dam at the time.