Monday, June 17, 2024

Russians report heavy fighting along Ukrainian border regions

Russia-appointed officials and pro-Kremlin bloggers have reported intense fighting along the border of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions — an area where Kiev’s forces have made significant gains in recent days since the launch of the counter-offensive.

The fighting is currently underway south of the town of Velyka Novosilka along both sides of the Mokri Yaly river, reports CNN.

In a social media post on Monday night, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian-installed Zaporizhzhia administration, acknowledged heavy fighting in an area known as the Vremivka ridge, but also claimed that higher ground remained under Russian control.

He said Russian attack helicopters were in action, and that “reciprocal shelling and heavy fighting of ultra-high intensity continues” in the vicinity of the village of Urozhaine.

Rogov also conceded that Ukrainian forces were “holding their positions on the northern and eastern outskirts of the village”.

He further claimed that in the nearby village of Makarivka, “the enemy has already been driven out by the quick and effective counterattack of the 127th Division”, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Russian military bloggers also reported of intense combat in the area, with one Telegram channel (‘Our Donetsk’) saying “the enemy managed to deepen and advance through the wooded areas, threatening with further advance to encircle” nearby Russian units.

‘Our Donetsk’ acknowledged that Russian troops had been forced to abandon Neskuchne — just south of Velyka Novosilka — for a second time, “retreating to positions where they would not be encircled”.

It said the Ukrainians were “accumulating forces” in the area, and heavy fighting continued.

Also late on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky commented on the fighting in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia border region, saying “the enemy’s losses are exactly what we need”.

The start of the much-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive was announced by Zelensky on June 10 after months of speculation.

The following day, the government announced that Ukrainian forces have retaken control of Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka — three frontline villages in Donetsk.

The three villages would be the first liberated since his comments, but not the first that Ukraine has recaptured since June 5, when pockets of its forces began to advance in the country’s south.

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