Ukraine reports early counter-offensive gains: 100 sq km of territory reclaimed

Ukraine’s military said on Thursday it had regained control over more than 100 square kilometers of territory in the early stages of its counter-offensive against Russia.

Brigadier-General Oleksii Hromov, the chief of the main operational department of the Ukrainian military’s General Staff, told a media briefing that over the course of the last week: “Seven settlements in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions were liberated. More than 100 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory has been brought back under [our] control,” according to the military’s media center.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Malyar reported that Ukrainian armed forces have registered advances of approximately one kilometer in all directions of the offensive campaign, according to state news agency Ukrinform.

She said that over the past week and a half Ukrainian troops have advanced more than three kilometers in the eastern direction, and in the southern direction the armed forces were advancing “gradually but surely”.

She added that Ukrainian forces faced heightened Russian resistance that materialized in the form of increased missile strikes, air strikes, and artillery and mortar fire. On the ground, Russians were mining fields and using kamikaze drones in addition to intense shelling.

Malyar said that in the direction of the eastern city of Bakhmut – recently captured by Russian forces – the Russian side was “concentrating a huge amount of its resources, raising reserves and trying with all its might to prevent the advance of the Ukrainian defense forces.”

This comes amidst ongoing intense clashes between Ukraine and Russia’s forces on multiple battlefronts. Kyiv has been reporting an incremental but steady progress, particularly in the southern and eastern regions. Following more than a week into the long-awaited counter-offensive to regain Russian-occupied territories, Ukrainian forces have successfully “liberated” several settlements and made notable advancements towards key cities like Bakhmut, Berdyansky and Mariupol.

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