Blahodatne, Neskoutchne and Makarivka: Ukraine announced the reconquest, Sunday, June 11, of three villages in the west of Donetsk oblast. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had admitted the day before “counter-offensive actions”, without giving more details, while his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, had assured Friday that the great Ukrainian counter-offensive had ” begin “. According to Moscow, the kyiv forces were not “failed to achieve their goals” after several days of fierce fighting.
“I am grateful to our soldiers for this day, launched, Sunday evening, Mr. Zelensky in his daily message. THANKS ! Thank you for every step, for every fight, for every destroyed occupier! » These are the first territorial gains announced for months by Ukraine, apart from the few hundred meters recently retaken on the outskirts of Bakhmout, a devastated city which Moscow claimed to conquer in May.
For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense assured that Ukraine had unsuccessfully attacked, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, a Russian warship which was patrolling the Black Sea. According to him, all the Ukrainian remote control boats were destroyed and the Russian building, the yarn, was not damaged.
The Ukrainian army first announced on Sunday the capture of the village of Blahodatne, in the Donetsk region. On the eastern front, “the glorious soldiers of the 68e brigade (…) liberated the locality of Blahodatne”, which had less than 1,000 inhabitants before the war, the Ukrainian ground forces claimed on Facebook. The announcement was accompanied by a video showing soldiers with a Ukrainian flag in a destroyed building. The Ukrainians said they captured two Russian soldiers and pro-Russian separatist fighters there.
Less than three hours later, the Ukrainian border guard service assured that a second village, that of Neskutchne, north of Blahodatne, was in turn “again under the Ukrainian flag”. Then, in the evening, the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Hanna Maliar, announced that a third small town, Makarivka, south of Neskutchne, had fallen into the hands of troops from Kiev.
Three dead due to Russian fire against evacuations of civilians
At the same time, three people were killed and at least 23 others injured by Russian fire on civilians being evacuated from flooded areas in southern Ukrainian territory, local authorities said. Some of them were on boats. The floods are due to the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam earlier this week. A destruction for which both parties reject responsibility.
Seven people died and about thirty are still missing as a result of these floods in the territories under the control of kyiv. According to the latest figures provided on Sunday evening by Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, 2,722 people, including 205 children, were evacuated from the southern region of Kherson and 982 others, including 167 children, from the neighboring province of Mykolaiv.
A total of 77 localities were invaded by the waters, including fourteen in the occupied territories, said Mr. Klymenko, according to which 162,000 people are also without running water upstream of the Kakhovka dam.
In areas in Russian hands, officials installed by Moscow reported this week eight dead and thirteen missing in connection with this same tragedy, as well as more than 7,000 people evacuated.
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In Kherson, the regional capital, the water has started to flow back in some neighborhoods, despite the rain, noted journalists from Agence France-Presse. The first inhabitants of this city have returned home. According to an employee of the Kherson meteorological center, Laura Moussian, the water level has decreased locally by 1.7 meters. “There could be heavy rain again, which could considerably slow the pace of the decline”she added, however.
There is also concern about possible water contamination, which has engulfed at least three cemeteries, oil storage terminals and landfills, said Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin. Nearly 450 tonnes of turbine oil also spilled into the Dnieper and then into the Black Sea, he said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reiterated on Sunday, faced with contradictory data, its request for access to the site where the water level of the reservoir used to cool the reactors of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, located 150 kilometers upstream from the destroyed dam and occupied by the Russians.