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Ukraine controls a village on the Zaporizhzhia front



June 18, 2023 | 3:37 p.m

Ukraine has recaptured a village in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia – the second area claimed since launching its counter-offensive last week.

A Russian official admitted gains to Ukraine in the village of Pyatikatki on Sunday, saying on Telegram their forces were holed up there while under Russian artillery fire.

“The enemy’s ‘wave-like’ attacks have yielded results, despite heavy losses,” said official Vladimir Rogov on the Telegram messaging app.

According to Rogov, heavy fighting continued in the area, although no official statement regarding the action was received from Ukraine.

If confirmed, it would be Ukraine’s first gain in nearly a week as the country steps up its offensive, heading toward Crimea.

As the counteroffensive begins in Ukraine, both sides are suffering large numbers of military casualties, with Russia seeing the highest level since the Battle of Bakhmut in March, according to British military officials.

Ukraine has recaptured a village in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia – the second territory claimed since its counter-offensive began.
AFP via Getty Images
A Russian official recognized the gain for Ukraine in the village of Piatykhatky on Sunday.

In an update from British intelligence on Sunday, officials said the heaviest fighting was concentrated in the southeastern province of Zaporizhia, around Pakhmut, and west towards Ukraine’s Donetsk province.

What do you know about this stage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

1. Kherson

The Kherson region, southwest of Zaporozhye, was put forward as a potential counterattack contender, where the Kiev army could launch an offensive that would split the Russian-occupied territories and cut off the Crimea. But the destruction of the Nova Khakovka Dam this week could be a major obstacle. Kiev accused Moscow of deliberately blowing up the dam and causing a catastrophic flood to thwart its counterattack.

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2. Zaporizhia

Russian forces claimed to have repulsed four separate Ukrainian offensives in Zaporizhia, where Kiev forces attempted to break through the enemy front lines – an attempt which Moscow claimed resulted in heavy losses, including 30 destroyed tanks and up to 350 casualties. The Ukrainian military said in an update that the enemy was still “on the defensive”, launching air strikes and shelling towns and villages with artillery shells.

3. Tokmak

Heavy fighting has been reported in the city of Tokmak, a major Russian logistical hub in southeastern Ukraine and located on the road to the larger occupied city of Melitopol on the Sea of ​​Azov, which is seen as an important target for Kiev. Unconfirmed reports claimed that German Leopold II tanks and US-supplied Bradley tanks were involved in the battle on the Ukrainian side.

4. Avdiivka

The ruined city of Avdiivka, just outside the Russian-controlled Donetsk region in the east, has withstood 15 months of bombing and countless attempts by Russian forces to surround it. The Ukrainian army said in its latest update that the latest attempt by Moscow forces to advance near two settlements outside Avdiivka was thwarted as they bombarded the area with artillery fire.

5. Bakhmut

Kiev said its forces had advanced about a mile on the flanks of the stricken city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, which Russia’s Wagner mercenary group seized in May after months of fighting and was handed over to regular units. Moscow claimed to have repulsed the attack, and senior US officials said that Ukrainian forces in the east had suffered “significant” losses in men and equipment.

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6. Belgorod

Pro-Ukrainian rebels launched raids on the Russian city of Belgorod, which is located on the border with Ukraine, while Kiev forces continued to bomb the city and spread chaos. Thousands of residents were evacuated from the area, sparking outrage in the Kremlin. Partisans participating in the Belgorod campaign said that when the Crimea was liberated, they would march on Moscow.

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Officials said in the report that Ukraine “made little progress” while Russian forces were carrying out “relatively effective defensive operations” in southern Ukraine.

A Ukrainian tank fires towards Russian positions on the front line near Donetsk, Ukraine.

On Sunday, the Ukrainian military said that in the past 24 hours, Russia had carried out 43 airstrikes, four missile strikes and 51 attacks from multiple missile launchers.

While Russia is focusing its attacks on Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Marinka and Liman in Donetsk Province, Donetsk Region Governor Pavlo Kirilenko said two civilians were killed and three others injured in the past day.

Russian forces also launched air strikes in other areas in the south and east of the country, killing another civilian in Kherson.

Ukraine’s military said Russia carried out 43 airstrikes, four missile strikes, and 51 attacks from multiple rocket launchers.
Getty Images
If confirmed, Zaporizhzhia would be Ukraine’s first village gain in nearly a week as the country steps up its offensive, heading toward Crimea.
AFP via Getty Images

Russia and Ukraine have painted very different pictures of the war in recent weeks, with Russian President Vladimir Putin insisting last week that Ukraine had “no chance” of success in the counteroffensive.

Ukraine said last week it had recaptured about 38 square miles of territory in just over a week, retaking villages in the Donetsk region.

On Monday, Ukraine said it had recaptured the village of Lubkov, adjacent to Pyatikatki, in the Zaporizhia region.

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