One of the first, modest, accomplishments in the intensified counteroffensive operations against Moscow’s more than 15-month invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian military officials on Monday, was the retaking of another village from Russian soldiers in the country’s southeast.
The Ukrainian flag was once more flying over the settlement of Storozhov, according to Deputy Défense Minister Hanna Maliar, who also promised that “all Ukrainian land” would eventually be freed. Three more tiny settlements south of the town of Velika Novosilke in the eastern Donetsk region, according to Ukrainian officials, were liberated a day earlier.
The villages are situated along a stretch of the front line known as the “Vremivka ledge,” which extends Russian-controlled territory into Ukrainian territory. The location has developed into one of several conflict hotspots.
Although the Russian Défense Ministry hasn’t officially acknowledged it, some military bloggers have accepted that Russia has lost control of the villages.
Meanwhile, according to Russian authorities, their soldiers have maintained their positions along the front line that extends over a 1,000 km (600 mi) arc along southern and eastern Ukraine.
Any attempt to drive out entrenched, well-trained, heavily equipped Russian forces will probably take months, according to Western analysts and military officials, and the outcome of any Ukrainian counteroffensive is far from clear.
A day after declaring that the counteroffensive had begun and that Ukrainian forces were suffering “significant losses,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday that “counteroffensive, defensive actions are taking place” without elaborating that it was an all-out counteroffensive. He made no more mention of troop losses, and neither have Ukrainian authorities.
Authorities on both sides of the active front line along the Dnieper River in the southern Kherson region continued to rescue and rehouse citizens who had been displaced from their homes by floods caused by the Kakhovka dam failure last week when the rumoured Ukrainian advance occurred.
The potential spread of water-borne diseases is a major concern, according to the U.N. and other assistance organizations, and access to clean drinking water is a critical requirement.
Three individuals were reportedly killed when Moscow’s military opened fire on a boat carrying refugees fleeing Russian-occupied territory on Sunday, according to a local official.
Zelenskyy reported late Sunday that investigators from the International Criminal Court had travelled to the area to look into the disaster, which has caused hundreds of people to flee their homes and claimed at least 14 lives.
“It is very important that the representatives of international justice have seen the consequences of this Russian act of terrorism with their own eyes and heard for themselves that Russian terror continues,” Zelenskyy said.
The dam was deliberately destroyed, according to Ukrainian authorities, who were in control of the territory around it at the time. Russian authorities have attributed its destruction on Ukrainian shelling.