Ukraine retakes more settlements in Kherson and Luhansk. * Russia strengthening defense of Kreminna city by drawing in more troops and heavily mining the area.
https://www.jpost.com/-By ROMAN MEITAV
PREVIEW XML A member of the Ukrainian National Guard fires a D-30 howitzer towards Russian troops, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv region(photo credit: REUTERS)
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces have retaken more settlements in the Kherson region on Wednesday, one of the partially Russian-occupied southern regions that Moscow claims to have annexed.
With Russian forces retreating from front lines in the south and east, Zelensky said in a late-night video address on Wednesday that Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka and Petropavlivka to the northeast of Kherson city had been liberated.
During his public address, Zelensky said that he and his senior military officials met on Wednesday to discuss recovering all lands occupied by Russia.
Switching to Russian, Zelensky addressed pro-Moscow forces, telling them they had already lost.
“Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. And more and more citizens of Russia are realizing that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war,” he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Ukrainians know what they are fighting for. And more and more citizens of Russia are realizing that they must die simply because one person does not want to end the war.”
President Volodymyr Zelensky
“Even if you still find some other weapon somewhere in the world like these Iranian Shahids (meaning Shahid-136 drones Russian forces have been using lately) that you use to bomb our cities… it won’t help you anyway. You have already lost.”
Ukrainian forces push into Luhansk
Ukrainian forces have also pushed further into the Luhansk Oblast, according to Governor Serhiy Haidai who said six settlements have already been liberated in the area, without disclosing further details.
Ukrainian forces had liberated Hrekivka and Makiivka villages, both located on the western border of Luhansk Oblast, according to several unconfirmed reports.
“The de-occupation of Luhansk Oblast has begun,” Haidai said on Telegram.
Anticipating Ukraine’s further push into its easternmost region, Russia is strengthening its defense of Kreminna city by drawing in more troops and heavily mining the area, he added.
Russia’s proxy in Luhansk, Rodion Miroshnyk, admitted that the areas leading to Kreminna and Svatove (close to Kharkiv Oblast) are “in danger,” with the path leading to Kremmina “under serious threat.”
UK intelligence reported that after a lightning counteroffensive in Kharkiv, Ukraine has “consolidated a substantial area of the territory east of the Oskil River in the region, and it is highly likely that Ukraine can now strike the key Svatove-Kreminna road in Luhansk.”
“Ukraine can strike the strategic road with most of its artillery systems, further straining Russia’s ability to resupply its units in the east,” according to the report.
Earlier on Tuesday, Zelensky said that “fierce fighting continues in many areas of the front, amid Ukraine’s counteroffensive. More and more (Russians) are trying to escape, the invading army is suffering more and more losses.”
Russia claims it will recapture annexed regions
Moscow’s map of Ukraine appears to show shrinking areas it controls. A map of “new regions” published by the state news agency RIA included the full territory of the Ukrainian provinces, but some parts were shaded and labeled as being under Ukrainian military control.
“They will be with Russia forever,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the new regions, adding that settlements recaptured by Ukraine in recent days “will be returned.”
Reuters contributed to this report.