Ukraine: Putin claims fighting intensifies in southeastern Ukraine, with Russia inflicting heavy losses

KYIV: Fierce preventing raged Thursday in southeastern Ukraine, the place a Western official stated Kyiv has launched a serious push and Russian President Vladimir Putin stated “hostilities have intensified considerably.”

Battles in latest weeks have taken place on a number of factors alongside the over 1,000-kilometer (over 600-mile) entrance line as Ukraine wages a counteroffensive with Western-supplied weapons and Western-trained troops in opposition to Russian forces who invaded 17 months in the past.
Putin praised the “heroism” with which Russian troopers had been repelling assaults within the Zaporizhzhia area of the southeast, claiming Moscow’s troops not solely destroyed Ukraine’s navy gear but in addition inflicted heavy losses to Kyiv’s forces.

He insisted on state TV Ukraine’s push within the space “wasn’t profitable,” though it was not potential to independently confirm his report. Putin was in St. Petersburg at a summit of African leaders.
Ukrainian troops have made solely incremental features since launching a counteroffensive in early June, and Putin has repeatedly claimed Ukraine has suffered heavy losses, with out providing proof.
Ukraine has dedicated hundreds of troops within the area in latest days, based on a Western official who was not licensed to remark publicly on the matter.
It was unclear how the present effort differs from earlier ones by the Ukrainian navy to interrupt by deeply entrenched Russian defenses. The Russian military has arrange huge minefields to stymie Ukrainian advances and used fight plane and loitering munitions to strike Ukrainian armor and artillery.
Ukrainian authorities have stored operational particulars of the counteroffensive underneath wraps, and so they have launched scant details about its progress.
Nonetheless, Deputy Protection Minister Hanna Maliar stated Wednesday that troops are advancing towards the town of Melitopol within the Zaporizhizhia area.
The seizure of Melitopol close to the Sea of Azov could be a serious success for Ukraine, which hopes to punch by the land hall between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, illegally annexed by Moscow in 2014. That might break up Russian forces into two and minimize provide strains to items farther west. Russia at the moment controls the entire Sea of Azov coast.
Russian navy bloggers say that the newest Ukrainian push has centered on the village of Staromaiorske close to an space separating Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia provinces. If the Russian defenses there collapse, it will open the best way for the Ukrainian forces to push southward towards the coast.
The obvious Ukrainian push comes within the wake of Russian navy and political turmoil in June that noticed Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner personal navy firm, stage a short-lived revolt that posed the gravest menace to Putin in his 23-year rule.
The mercenaries have withdrawn from the battlefield in Ukraine, the place they performed a pivotal position in capturing the stronghold of Bakhmut following the conflict’s longest battle. 1000’s of Wagner troops have reportedly moved to Belarus to assist prepare its troops earlier than shifting to Africa.
The Institute of Research of Warfare, a Washington-based suppose tank, reported that Ukrainian forces launched “a major mechanized counteroffensive operation” in western Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday and “seem to have damaged by sure pre-prepared Russian defensive positions.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in the meantime, visited the town of Dnipro, alongside the Dnieper River to the north of Zaporizhzhia, assembly with navy commanders to debate air defenses, ammunition provides and regional recruitment.
He additionally visited a medical facility caring for the wounded from the entrance, thanking the workers and emphasizing the significance of their work in saving the lives. A latest improve in wounded at a Dnipro hospital hinted that the tempo of preventing had elevated.
In what gave the impression to be a precautionary transfer, Russia’s Federal Safety Service, often known as the FSB, prohibited civilian entry to the Arabat Spit in Crimea, a slender strip of land that hyperlinks the peninsula to the partially occupied Kherson area. The open-ended ban is required to comprise safety threats, the FSB stated in a press release quoted by Russia’s state information company RIA Novosti.
U.S. officers, who’ve offered Kyiv with weapons and intelligence, declined to remark publicly on the newest developments, although they’ve beforehand urged endurance as Ukraine seeks to grind down Russian positions.
U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin stated throughout a go to to Papua New Guinea that Kyiv’s effort to retake land seized by Russia since its full-scale invasion in February 2022 could be robust and lengthy, with successes and setbacks.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated “an intense battle” is going down however declined to offer particulars.
“We imagine that instruments, the gear, the coaching, the recommendation that many people have shared with Ukrainians over many months places them in good place to achieve success on the bottom in recovering extra of the territory that Russia has taken from Ukraine,” Blinken stated in New Zealand.
In the meantime, a missile strike on Ukraine’s southern Odesa area killed one civilian and additional broken its port infrastructure within the newest assault since Moscow broke off a grain export settlement, Odesa Gov. Oleh Kiper stated.
The assault used Kalibr cruise missiles launched from the Black Sea, he stated.
Ukraine’s air drive stated it intercepted 36 Russian missiles launched from Tu-95MS strategic bombers.

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