Ukraine affirmed Sunday having pushed back the Russian army "from 3 " 8 km" deep on the left bank of the Dnieper occupied by the army of Moscow, first numerical estimate of the advance of Kiev's troops in this area, after months of counter-offensive unsuccessful.
“Preliminary figures vary from 3 to 8 km, depending on the specifics, geography and topography of the left bank,” army spokesperson Natalia Goumeniouk told Ukrainian television.
If this advance is confirmed, it would be the biggest push by the Ukrainian army against the Russians in several months.
Natalia Goumeniouk did not, however, indicate whether the Ukrainian forces completely controlled this area of the Kherson region (south) or if the Russian army had withdrawn from it in the face of attacks by Kiev troops.
“The enemy continues its artillery fire on the right bank,” she detailed, estimating the number of Russian soldiers present in this area at “several tens of thousands.”
The AFP was unable to confirm these claims.
Ukraine claims “successful” operations on the occupied bank of the Dnieper © AFP – Nalini LEPETIT-CHELLA, Paz PIZARRO
Launched in June, the long-awaited counter-offensive by Kiev and its Western allies failed, allowing the Ukrainian army to retake only a handful of villages in the south and east.
But On Friday, Kiev said it had taken positions on the left bank of the Dnieper, while reporting “violent fighting” and “strong Russian resistance.”
Moscow, for its part, did not has not mentioned the Ukrainian bridgeheads until then.
Before that, the last major success claimed by Ukraine in its counter-offensive was the recapture of the village of Robotyné in August, in the southern region of Zaporizhia.
Taking positions deep on the left bank of the Dnieper could allow kyiv to carry out a larger assault in the south. But for this, Ukraine must succeed in deploying its army in this difficult to access, sandy and marshy area, facing solid Russian defenses.
– A repatriated orphan –
At the same time, attacks by explosive drones, signatures of the war in Ukraine, have increased in recent days.
During the night from Saturday to Sunday, Kiev and Moscow were targeted by opposing attacks from these small devices, which were however largely intercepted by anti-aircraft defenses and did not cause any casualties, according to the respective authorities.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a drone “was destroyed by air defense equipment (…) over the territory of the Bogorodsky urban district in the Moscow region.”
Ukrainian drone attacks targeting Moscow were frequent in the spring, ahead of and at the start of Kiev's counter-offensive that began in June, but have become rare in recent weeks.
For its part, Kiev was the target, for the second night in a row, of a barrage of explosive drones launched by the Russian army, of Iranian manufacture “Shahed”, according to the military authorities, who reported “an intensification” of attacks on the Ukrainian capital.
In total, “fifteen of the twenty enemy drones were destroyed,” the Ukrainian general staff said in a statement.
The deputy head of the presidential administration, Oleksiï Kouleba, assured on Telegram that Kiev was “increasing the number of mobile units” to counter these Russian attacks and “strengthening the protection of energy infrastructure”.
In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had hit a fuel depot in the central Kirovograd region and a munitions warehouse near Kiev.
The day before, the Russian Air Force Ukrainian had claimed to have shot down 29 drones out of the 38 “Shahed” launched by Russian forces throughout the territory in the largest nighttime drone attack since the end of September.
Anticipating new strikes on the sites energy, Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday called on his army to be “100% efficient, despite all the difficulties, despite the fatigue.”
Sunday, a Russian bombing in Kherson (south) left five injured, including a three-year-old girl, according to Interior Minister Igor Klymenko.
A 17-year-old Ukrainian orphan, Bogdan Iermokhine, was also repatriated to Ukraine after being sent to Russia in the spring 2022 at the end of the siege of Mariupol in the southeast, announced the authorities in Kiev and Moscow.
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