After months of preparation, Ukraine launched an offensive in early June to reconquer the territories occupied by Russia.
The Russian army said on Monday that it had repelled Ukrainian offensives in the area of southern Ukraine where kyiv claimed the capture of several localities.
However, the Russian Defense Ministry has been careful not to deny or confirm its withdrawal from Blagodatné, Makarivka, Neskoutchné and Storojevé, villages that the Ukrainian army said on Sunday and Monday they had taken over. They are all south of Velyka Novossilka and Vremivka.
Targeted Ukrainian attacks
«In the area of the Vremivka salient, the defense units pushed back, using artillery and flamethrower systems from the force grouping “East”three attacks by the adversary from Velyka Novossilka (…) and from the locality of Levadné“, said the Russian ministry in its press release.
The locality of Levadné is located west of the Vremivka salient, and it is in this area that a Ukrainian unit, the 110th of the territorial defense, claimed on Monday the liberation on June 4 of the village of Novodarivka. As usual, the Russian army claims to inflict very heavy losses on the Ukrainians, but says nothing about its own. Armed with Western armaments and after months of preparation, Ukraine launched an offensive in early June to reconquer the 17% of territory occupied by Russia.
Vladimir Putin said on Friday that his forces were repelling enemy attacks, but on Sunday kyiv claimed initial gains, even if these appear to be marginal after nearly a week of fighting. The area in which the Ukrainian army gained some ground is on the border of the Eastern and Southern fronts. It is located about ten kilometers north of the main Russian fortified lines, made in particular of trenches and anti-tank traps.
A major Ukrainian military success in this region would break the land bridge linking Russia to the annexed peninsula of Crimea. This would be a major setback for Moscow. According to military analysts, Ukraine has not yet launched the bulk of its forces in its major counter-offensive, and is currently still testing the front with targeted attacks to determine weak points. The Ukrainian authorities have sworn to remain silent about their objectives, strategy and tactics.