Ukrainian Armed Forces are advancing in all areas of their counteroffensive against invading Russian troops, a senior defence official said.
Since the start of the first stage of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in early June, Kyiv says it has reasserted control over dozens of villages in the southeast of the country. Russia still holds vast territory in the east and southeast.
“If we talk about the entire frontline, we have seized the strategic initiative and are advancing in all directions,” Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian television.
Russians, which began a full-scale invasion in February 2022, acknowledged the Ukrainian gains but claimed that Ukraine’s military suffered heavy casualties.
Zelenskyy: Ukraine wants to show results on the battlefield before NATO summit
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with the Spanish media RTV that Ukraine wants to get gains on the battlefield before the upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania on 11 July.
Zelenskyy called on European partners to continue providing Ukraine with military support: “We launched a counteroffensive, and we needed results. We expected certain things, but the artillery arrived late”, he said.
Ukraine’s President also said that “Putin is more threatened than I am” because “only Russia wants to kill me, and the whole world wants to kill him”.
Ukraine’s Army targets Russian command posts and ammo depots
Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian artillery had hit 1 command post, 6 areas of concentration of Russian military equipment and 3 ammunition depots. Western weapons help the Ukrainian military to hit Russian positions at a longer distance from the frontline.
Ukrainian troops have crossed the Dnipro River near Antonivskyi Bridge near Kherson and are trying to gain a foothold on the left bank, British military intelligence says in its review of the Russian-Ukrainian war of 1 July.
British intelligence also reported that the strikes on the Chongar bridges had significantly hampered Russian logistics.
“The main event” of the Ukrainian counteroffensive has yet to start
Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukrainian soldiers were moving confidently on the flanks around the devastated town of Bakhmut, held by Russian troops, and the main fighting was happening around the town.
In the south, Kyiv’s forces were moving with mixed success and mainly levelling the frontline, she said. Ms Maliar noted that the effectiveness of the counteroffensive should be evaluated by “a lot of different military tasks” and not just by advances and the liberation of settlements.
Ukrainian officials have also said the “main event” of the counteroffensive has yet to start and that Ukraine has not yet sent its principal troop reserves into combat. There are still tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers being trained in the allied countries, and more weapons supplies from partners are expected.
Photo credit: General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine