The Ukrainian counter-offensive has started with the liberation of 7 villages

The hour of the counter-offensive has sounded good. Announced for months, denied last week, this time the Ukrainian counter-attack to take back the 17% of territories occupied by Russia has been confirmed by Volodymyr Zelensky and Emmanuel Macron. Violent fighting is taking place, particularly in the south of the country. However, Ukraine has not yet launched the bulk of its forces in its major counter-offensive and is still testing the front with targeted attacks to determine its weak points, according to military analysts. Update on the situation.

Seven villages recaptured

She was expected, she finally arrived. According to the Ukrainian president, “the fighting is difficult, but we are making progress, and that is very important,” he said in his daily address Monday evening. Enemy casualties are exactly at the level we need. “The weather is not favorable – the rain makes our task more difficult – but the strength of our soldiers is giving good results”, he added, welcoming the return of the Ukrainian flag to “newly liberated territories . »

The Ukrainian government has indeed claimed to have “liberated” since this weekend seven villages in the south and east of the country. Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said the villages of Lobkovo, Levadne and Novodarivka, near Zaporozhye, had been taken over, as well as the village of Storozheve, in the south of the Donetsk region. “The area of ​​the territory returned to our control amounts to 90 square kilometers,” assured Ganna Malyar.

On Monday afternoon, the Ukrainian army also claimed to have made progress in the Bakhmout region. “Ukrainian troops have advanced 250 to 700 meters in the direction of Bakhmout,” the defense ministry said. For the experts of the reference American think tank Institute for the study of war (ISW), “Ukrainian forces have made visually verified advances in the west of the Donetsk province and in the west of the Zaporozhye province, which Russian sources confirmed but sought to minimize. »

Moscow says it is repelling attacks

For its part, the Russian army also boasts of some victories. It thus announced on Tuesday that it had captured for the first time on the front German-made Leopard tanks and American-made Bradley armored vehicles, supplied to kyiv by the West. “Now these are our trophies,” the Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram. “Some of the combat vehicles have working engines, which indicates that the battle was short-lived and the Ukrainian crews fled,” the Russian ministry said, adding that it captured them in the Zaporozhye region.

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Moscow also said on Monday that it had repelled offensives in the southern area of ​​Ukraine. However, the Russian Ministry of Defense refrained from denying or confirming its withdrawal from Blagodatné, Makarivka, Neskoutchné and Storojevé. “In the area of ​​the Vremivka salient, the defense units repelled, with the help of artillery and flamethrower systems from the “Eastern” group of forces, three enemy attacks from Velyka Novossilka (…) and of the locality of Levadné”, welcomed the Russian ministry in its press release. As usual, the Russian army claims to inflict very heavy losses on the Ukrainians, but says nothing about its own.

An offensive set to last

In Paris, Emmanuel Macron indicated that “the Ukrainian counter-offensive started several days ago”. “It is intended to be deployed over several weeks, even several months”, estimated the French president, assuring “wish” that this counter-offensive be “as successful as possible in order to then be able to trigger a phase of negotiation in good conditions . »

In Washington, the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken said he hoped that the success of the offensive could force President Vladimir Putin to negotiate. “A successful counter-offensive could do two things: it would strengthen (Ukraine’s) position at the negotiating table and it could have the effect of finally getting Putin to negotiate an end to this war he has started,” he told reporters. “In that sense, it could bring peace closer, not further away,” he added.

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