Ukraine has retaken approximately 6,000 square kilometers (2,400 square miles) of territory this month, according to Volodymyr Zelensky, as he asked foreign allies to quickly deploy more air defense systems. The Ukrainian president used his Monday night address to declare progress in the east and south as Kyiv pressed to take control of practically all of Kharkiv province.

The gains represent a sliver of Ukraine’s total geographical mass of approximately 600,000 square kilometers, of which Russia controls around a fifth, but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Monday that Ukrainian forces had made significant progress.

“Clearly, we have seen significant progress by Ukrainians, particularly in the north-east, and that is a product of support we’ve provided, but first and foremost, it’s a product of extraordinary courage and resilience of Ukrainian armed forces and Ukrainian people,” Blinken told reporters in Mexico City.

“It’s too early to tell exactly where this is going. Russians maintain very significant forces in Ukraine as well as equipment and arms, and munitions. They continue to use it indiscriminately against not just Ukrainian armed forces but the civilians and civilian infrastructure as we’ve seen,” Blinken added.

On Monday night, Zelensky condemned Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure in retribution for Kharkiv’s recent achievements, calling them “a sign of desperation of those who invented this war. This is how they react to the defeat of Russian troops in the Kharkiv region. They can’t do anything to our heroes on the battlefield, and that’s why Russia is directing its vile strikes against the civilian infrastructure.”

Zelensky added

He praised current anti-aircraft defenses, claiming that nine out of twelve Russian missiles were shot down on Monday; Zelensky said in a plea to the foreign nations, “above all, speed up the provision of air defense systems.” The Kremlin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, stated on Monday in its first public comment on Ukraine’s victories in the Kharkiv area, which began less than a week ago, “military operation continues” and “it will continue until goals that were originally set are achieved.”

Ukraine’s military intelligence said that the general in charge of Russia’s western army group had been fired as a result of the Kharkiv retreat. It reported that Gen Roman Berdnikov had been replaced after less than three weeks in office, but there was no confirmation from Russia.

Mason Clark of the US-based think tank Institute for the Study of War (ISW) told the BBC that what Russia described as a regrouping in Kharkiv was actually a complete rout of Russian troops, who had to abandon a lot of equipment.

Russia’s retaliatory missile strikes knocked out electricity and water supplies in Kharkiv city for the second time in less than 24 hours, knocking them out on Monday morning just hours after city authorities had restored 80% of the utilities that had been cut overnight. Ukraine also said Russia carried out 18 missiles and 39 airstrikes on Sunday night. According to the presidential administration in Kyiv, at least four civilians were killed, and 11 others were injured in Russian attacks in nine locations.

Continue to read more latest news

 228 total views,  1 views today