June 10, 2023 | 1:43 p.m
Ukrainian forces managed to advance up to a mile in some areas near Behakmut.
The Ukrainian Armed Forces advanced nearly a mile near war-torn Bakhmut in the first gains of their long-awaited counter-offensive.
“We are trying … to inflict blows on the enemy, we are conducting a counterattack. We managed to advance up to 1,400 meters on different sectors of the front, ”Serhiy Shiravati, spokesman for the Eastern Military Command of Ukraine. Saturday said.
Sherivati said that Russian forces were also trying to launch a counterattack, but were unsuccessful.
Moscow said it took full control of the city, which was nearly destroyed last month after the longest battle since the Russian invasion in February 2022.
News of the gains came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky acknowledged that a counterattack was under way at a news conference in Kiev alongside Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Zelensky said that “counter-offensive and defensive operations are taking place in Ukraine,” but added, “I’m not going to talk about what stage or stage they are in.”
While the president wasn’t specific, reports on the ground in the past few days have described three separate offensive operations in the eastern regions of the country, near Bakhmut, and to the south near the towns of Vohlidar in the Donetsk region and Tokmak in Zaporozhye. region.
“I am in contact with our leaders of various directions every day,” he added, citing the names of five of Ukraine’s top military leaders. “Everyone is positive. Pass this on to Putin.”
Warzone bloggers have reportedly described initial sightings of German and American armor. German-made Leopard tanks and American Bradley Fighting Vehicles were reportedly heading toward the town of Tokmak.
Russian Ministry of Defense Post a video Bradley shows bombing and attacking a group of what appeared to be Western tanks, claiming that it was “a small part of the devastating Western equipment” supplied to Kiev.
Meanwhile, Trudeau committed C$500 million, or about US$373 million, in new military aid, and also announced C$10 million ($7.5 million) in humanitarian aid to help respond to floods that followed a dam collapse on the Dnieper River.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Moscow “can certainly announce that this attack on Ukraine has begun” — a statement Zelensky called “interesting”.
“It is important that Russia has always felt this: that they have not been around for a long time, in my opinion,” Zelensky said.
While the counterattack provided some positive news for Ukraine, Russian forces continued to fire missiles and drones across the country on Saturday, Three civilians were killed in Odessa while also striking military airspace at Poltava.
The Ukrainian Air Force said the strikes included eight ground-based missiles and 35 drone strikes, though air defense systems thwarted 20 drones and two missiles.
“As a result of air combat, the wreckage of one of the drones fell on a high-rise apartment, causing a fire,” said Natalia Homenyuk, spokeswoman for the Southern Military Command, about the attack on Odessa.
A 29-year-old Ukrainian citizen was also killed in the northeastern district of Kharkiv, which was bombed by artillery overnight.
Emergency services said at least 27 others, including 3 children, were wounded in the fighting.
As the fighting continues, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Saturday he wanted to continue talking to Putin after several phone conversations with the Russian president.
Schultz said he intends to do it again “soon” and added that the basis for a “just peace” between Russia and Ukraine is the withdrawal of Russian forces.
“This needs to be understood,” he said.
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