Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday night that the current offensive against Russian troops was “difficult” but was “progressing”.
“The struggle is difficult, but we are making progress,” declared Volodymyr Zelensky in his daily Internet speech, welcoming the return of the Ukrainian flag to villages in the “newly liberated territories”.
The Ukrainian government said, however, that Ukraine has already retaken seven villages from Russian forces in the south and east of the country since the weekend, as part of the counter-offensive in three sectors of the front line.
“Seven villages have been liberated,” Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Malyar said today on the Telegram social network, referring to several locations taken in the Zaporijia region.
According to the deputy defense minister, the villages of Lobkovo, Levadne and Novodarivka, near Zaporijia, were reconquered, as well as the village of Storozheve, south of the Donetsk region.
In the daily speech on the Internet, Zelensky also clarified that “the fight is difficult, but we are making progress, which is very important”.
As for the casualties caused to the enemy, he asserted: “They are exactly at the level we need”.
Zelensky also said that “the weather is not favorable – the rain is making our task difficult – but the strength of our soldiers is producing good results”, also welcoming the return of the Ukrainian flag to the “recently liberated territories”.
This afternoon, the Ukrainian army reported that it had also made progress in the Bakhmut region.
The Ukrainian defense ministry reported that “Ukrainian troops advanced between 250 and 700 meters in the direction of Bakhmout”.
Moscow, for its part, claimed to have repelled Ukrainian attacks in the Donetsk region near Velyka Novosilka and the village of Levadne near Zaporijja.
These statements, whether from Moscow or Kiev, have not been confirmed by independent entities.
According to military analysts, Ukraine “has not yet launched the bulk of its forces in its great counter-offensive”, and, in their opinion, “is still testing the front line with targeted attacks to determine its weak points”.
Meanwhile, in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the start of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, estimating that it will last “several weeks, if not months”.
“The Ukrainian counter-offensive started several days ago,” Macron said, warning that “it will last for several weeks, if not months”.
In addition, Macron assured that he “hopes” that this counter-offensive will be “as successful as possible, so that we can then launch a negotiation phase under the right conditions”.
In Washington, for his part, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said he hoped that the success of the offensive would force Russian President Vladimir Putin to negotiate.
“A successful counter-offensive could do two things: it would strengthen (Ukraine’s) position at the negotiating table and it could have the effect of finally getting Putin to negotiate an end to this war, which he has been waging,” stressed the head of U.S. diplomacy. U.S.