The villages — Neskuchne, Storozheve, Blahodatne and Makarivka — are situated south of Velyka Novosilka, one of many counteroffensive’s key beginning factors near the border of the Zaporizhzhia area. The villages are clustered on a roughly 5½-mile stretch of highway main south into occupied territory closely fortified by Russia.
The cities are about 80 miles north of the long-occupied metropolis of Mariupol, which was almost destroyed by heavy Russian bombing final yr.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian Volunteer Military posted a video wherein its members posed with their battalion colours within the village of Neskuchne. The Washington Publish couldn’t independently confirm the video, or others purporting to point out the liberations.
Ukraine’s thirty fifth Separate Marine Brigade posted a video on Monday reportedly exhibiting its forces elevating the Ukrainian flag and marching by the village of Storozheve, and the 68th Separate Jaeger Brigade confirmed footage from the village of Blahodatne.
“The operation started at about 5 a.m.,” a soldier, recognized solely by his name signal “Doc,” mentioned within the Storozheve video. “The enemy resisted with its artillery to start with. We managed to take the initiative into our personal palms and retake the village home by home.”
Ukrainian Deputy Protection Minister Hanna Maliar, posting on Telegram, mentioned that Ukraine’s forces even have taken the city of Makarivka, simply south of Blahodatne.
Russia’s Protection Ministry claimed in an announcement to have repelled assaults within the space, starting in Vremivka — the primary city alongside the highway south from Velyka Novosilka.
“Decisive actions of defending models, artillery fireplace and heavy firing methods of the Vostok Group of Forces repelled three enemy assaults from the course of Velykaya Novoselka of the Donetsk Folks’s Republic,” the Russian Protection Ministry mentioned, referring to the separatist area acknowledged by Moscow in its unlawful try and annex Ukrainian territory.
Ukraine on Monday made no point out of losses that had been inevitably incurred as a part of the advance. And the deal with such a small stretch of territory underscored the tough nature of the counteroffensive and the chance that good points, if any, could be measured in extraordinarily small increments.
Ukrainian officers have warned that Kyiv’s forces might expertise excessive casualties as they attempt to claw again territory from Russia’s military, which has entrenched itself in closely fortified positions all through Ukraine’s south and east.
Final week, video and photographic imagery indicated that Ukraine’s army suffered important losses of kit — together with some Leopard battle tanks not too long ago acquired from its Western allies.
Ukraine additionally claims to have made advances on the flanks of the destroyed japanese metropolis of Bakhmut, which not too long ago fell to Russian management after greater than eight months of fierce and bloody combating.
Natalia Abbakumova in Riga, Latvia, contributed to this report.