Ukraine rains fire on Putin’s invaders: Kyiv troops push Russian forces out of territory in the south and east as gruelling counter-offensive continues
- Progress of Ukraine’s offensive has been slowed by minefields and fortifications
- Kyiv reported progress around two villages in the south, while reports suggest Ukraine’s forces have conducted small operations across Dnipro river
Pictures from the frontlines have shown Ukrainian artillerymen raining fire down on Vladimir Putin’s invaders, as Kyiv’s troops continue their counter-offensive.
The Ukrainian military said it had pushed Russian forces out of pockets of territory along the front lines in the east and south of the country, building on the gruelling counter-offensive launched two months ago.
The gains – announced by Ukraine’s deputy defence minister – came as Russia claimed its forces had progressed in the eastern Kharkiv region, undermining Kyiv’s highly anticipated campaign.
However, reports have also suggested Ukraine has completed operations across a southern point on the Dnipro river, a key objective for Kyiv.
Ukraine kicked off its counter-offensive against Russian forces in June after building up assault battalions and stockpiling Western-donated weapons.
But progress has been hampered by widespread Russian-laid minefields and strong fortifications, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said, with Kyiv saying it had only gained a clutch of land around the war-battered city of Bakhmut last week.
Pictures from the frontlines have shown Ukrainian artillerymen raining fire down on Putin’s invaders, as Kyiv’s troops continue their counter-offensive
Ukrainian soldiers fire with D-30 artillery at Russian positions in the direction of Klishchiivka as the Russia-Ukraine war continues in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 12
The Ukrainian military said it had pushed Russian forces out of pockets of territory along the front lines in the east and south of the country, building on the gruelling counter-offensive launched two months ago. Pictured: Ukrainian artillerymen fire shells at Russian positions
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian military had pushed forward around the village of Staromaiorske, around 60 miles southwest of Russian-held Donetsk, and was pressing on two fronts in the south, Maliar said. She said troops were fighting for control of the neighbouring settlement of Urozhaine.
A Moscow-installed official in an occupied part of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region said on Sunday that Kyiv was attempting to pierce Russian lines by gaining a foothold in both villages which stand in the path of Ukraine’s goal of reaching the Sea of Azov.
‘Hostilities are taking place in the vicinity of Urozhaine and the fight is for this particular locality,’ Maliar said in a statement to an official military platform. ‘There is some success on the southern and southeast axes in the vicinity of Staromaiorske.’
Maliar also said Kyiv’s army had conducted ‘certain tasks’ on the left bank (or eastern bank) of the Dnipro river in the Kherson region.
The river was rendered the de facto front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the region after Kyiv recaptured the territory’s main city, also called Kherson, in November.
In its latest intelligence update, the British defence ministry noted ‘an uptick in small-scale combat’ along the lower Dnipro river, where it said Ukrainian forces were attempting to conduct raids and set up new bridgeheads.
Crossing the portion of the Dnipro river, which was flooded when the Kakhovka Dam was destroyed in June – likely by Russian forces – is seen as a key objective toward’s Ukraine’s ultimate goal of pushing Russia out of its territory, including Crimea.
A Ukrainian grad truck fires missiles against the Russian positions in the direction of Bakhmut amid Russia and Ukraine war in Donetsk Oblast, August 9
A Ukrainian soldier fires a mortar towards Russian positions at the front line, near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, August 9
A girl rides her bike next to destroyed Russian APC as the Russia-Ukraine war continues, in Sviatohirsk town of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on August 10
Ukrainian forces have made incremental gains since kicking off their long-awaited operation in June, but officials in Kyiv have acknowledged that progress has been slower than they would have liked and hampered by rigid Russian defences.
In Monday’s statement, Maliar described the nature of that challenge.
‘The Armed Forces are facing complete mining of the territory, cement fortifications of the key heights, (and) constant mortar and artillery shelling,’ she said. ‘Additionally the Russians are densely using aviation.’
Maliar added that the Ukrainian military managed to retake nearly 2 square miles during the past week around the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut, where Russian and Ukrainian forces fought the bloodiest battle of the nearly 18-month war.
She also said Russian troops were continuing their assault around the eastern towns of Kupyansk and Lyman, where she said they were regrouping.
‘The Russians have intensified these offensives after success of the Ukrainian army on Bakhmut axis,’ Maliar said.
Russia still controls around a fifth of Ukraine, including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, Luhansk region in the east and swathes of the regions of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.
The occupied territory includes most of Ukraine’s coast line and parts of its industrial heartland, the Donbas.
A member of an air-defence unit of the Ukrainian border guard is seen at his position at a front line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, August 9
Ukrainian servicemen fire a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system towards Russian troops near a front line, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Donetsk region, Ukraine August 11
Ukrainian MT-LB drives on country road on August 3
The progress of Ukrainian advances have been hampered by widespread Russian-laid minefields and strong fortifications, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar (pictured) said
Ukraine has urged its Western allies to ramp up arms deliveries, including long-range missiles and F-16 fighter jets to speed up its offensive.
That was the message Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said he took to his meeting with Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who arrived in Kyiv on Monday.
While the offensive is ongoing, Russian territory has also been targeted by almost daily drone attacks.
On Monday, the Russian army said it downed drones over the region of Belgorod bordering Ukraine, without any casualties or damage.
Ukraine’s claims of advances in the east came after its air force said it had downed several waves of Russian missiles and drones targeting Odesa.
All eight Kalibr cruise missiles and 23 drones were shot down, the defence ministry said on Twitter, which has been rebranded as X.
Russia and Ukraine have stepped up attacks in the Black Sea since Moscow exited a deal last month that had granted Kyiv’s grain exports safe passage during the conflict.
Since withdrawing from the agreement, Moscow has pounded ports in the Odesa region that were key for Ukrainian grain exports under the deal.
Falling debris damaged a student dormitory and a supermarket in Odesa city centre, wounding three workers, the army said.
‘The blast wave damaged windows and balconies in several buildings and damaged cars parked nearby’, it said, adding that firefighters were battling two blazes.
Images shared by the army showed firefighters trying to extinguish flames engulfing a multi-storey supermarket, with a large plume of smoke rising into the air.
The overnight missile and drone attacks come a day after Moscow said warning shots were fired from a Russian warship at a cargo vessel heading towards Izmail, a city on the Danube river in Odesa.
Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall destroyed during a Russian military strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Odesa, Ukraine August 14
Ukrainian rescuers working at the scene of rocket debris falling on a hypermarket in the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa, August 14
The Russian ship spotted the Sukru Okan cargo vessel sailing under the flag of Palau and fired the shots after its captain did not respond to demands to stop.
After inspection, the cargo ship was allowed to continue its journey.
‘These actions exemplified Russia’s deliberate policy of endangering the freedom of navigation and safety of commercial shipping in the Black Sea,’ Ukraine’s foreign ministry said on Monday, accusing Moscow of breaching United Nations accords and norms of international law.
Izmail, one of the main export routes for Ukrainian agricultural products to neighbouring Romania, was attacked by Russian drones earlier in August.
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