Ukraine reports small advances in ‘extremely fierce’ fighting against Russia

Ukraine reported incremental advances in its counteroffensive against Russian forces on Wednesday in what it described as “extremely fierce” fighting.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said the Ukrainian actions had “partial” success.

In the past day, Ukrainian troops had advanced 200-500 meters (220-550 yards) in various areas near the largely devastated eastern city of Bakhmut, and 300-350 meters in the direction of the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhia, she said.

“Our troops are moving in the face of extremely fierce fighting and air and artillery superiority of the enemy,” Maliar said.

In later comments, Maliar said Ukraine’s losses were “disproportionately” lower than those of the Russian side.

“In general, during the entire war, we had many times fewer losses,” she wrote on Telegram.

She told Ukrainian television that over the past week the number of enemy dead in the eastern “Khortytsia” section of the front was 8.73 times greater than Ukrainian losses. The figure for the southern “Tavria” section stood at 5.3.

Russian President Vladimir Putin estimated on Tuesday that Ukraine’s human losses were 10 times higher than Russia’s since the start of Kyiv’s counteroffensive.

“As of now, we are both on the offensive and defensive, just in different directions…there is a very serious standoff,” Maliar said.

Russian troops, she said, had not advanced in a little more than a week.

Ukraine said on Monday it had retaken seven settlements so far and its troops have advanced up to 6.5 km (4 miles) and seized 90 square km (35 square miles) of ground.

Maliar had reported continuing fighting earlier on Wednesday close to the village of Makarivka in the area of the southern port city of Berdyansk and said battles were raging in the areas of Novodanylivka and Novopokrovsk near Mariupol.

Reuters could not verify the battlefield situation. Russia has not acknowledged any Ukrainian gains.

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