Russia-Ukraine War Latest: Russia Reports Fierce Fighting As Zelenskyy Praises His Troops For Deadly Counter-Offensive

Russia-Ukraine War Latest: Russia Reports Fierce Fighting As Zelenskyy Praises His Troops For Deadly Counter-Offensive

Russia reported fierce fighting on Sunday on three sections of the front line in Ukraine while Ukraine’s president praised his troops for repelling enemy advances and said their counter-offensive was progressing well.

The assessments of action along the 1,000-km (600-mile) long front were made a day after an African peace mission wrapped up talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The mission failed to spark enthusiasm from either Moscow or Kyiv.

The United Nations, meanwhile, accused Moscow of failing to allow it to provide assistance to Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine affected by the breach of a big power dam that flooded vast areas of land and left thousands homeless.

A Russian-installed official said Ukraine had recaptured Piatykhatky, a village in the southern Zaporizhzhia region, and were entrenching themselves there while coming under fire from Russian artillery.

“The enemy’s ‘wave-like’ offensives yielded results, despite enormous losses,” the official, Vladimir Rogov, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia’s defence ministry made no mention of Piatykhatky in its daily update, in which it said its forces had repelled Ukrainian attacks in three sections of the front line. Russia’s Vostok group of forces said Ukraine had failed to take the settlement.

The evening report by the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces also made no mention of Piatykhatky. Last week, Ukraine said it had recaptured a nearby settlement, Lobkove, and villages further east, in the Donetsk region, at the start of its counter-offensive.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy praised his troops for being “very effective in repelling assaults” near Avdiivka, one of the hot spots in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The long-anticipated Ukrainian counter-offensive was proceeding well, he said in his nightly video address.

“Our troops are on the move: position by position, step by step, we are going forward,” he said.

Reuters could not independently verify battlefield reports.

Ukrainian officials have imposed an information blackout to help operational security, but say that Russia has suffered much greater losses than Ukraine has during its new assault.

A regional official said Ukrainian forces had destroyed a Russian ammunition dump in the occupied Kherson region, part of a weeks-long effort by Kyiv to disrupt Russian supply lines.

British defence intelligence said fighting had focused on Zaporizhzhia, western Donetsk and near Bakhmut, captured last month by Russian mercenaries after the war’s longest battle.

“In all these areas, Ukraine continues to pursue offensive operations and has made small advances,” it said on Twitter.

Russia’s defence, it said, was “relatively effective in the south”, with both sides suffering heavy casualties.


Putin, who rarely comments on the course of the war, made two unusually detailed remarks last week in which he derided the Ukrainian push and said Kyiv’s forces had “no chance” despite being newly equipped with Western tanks.

His comments appeared intended to reassure Russians, nearly 16 months into the conflict, as Ukraine seeks to take back the 18% of its territory that remains under Russian control.

At talks in St Petersburg on Saturday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa presented Putin with a 10-point peace initiative from seven African countries and told him it was time for Russia and Ukraine to start negotiations to end the war.

Putin responded with accusations long denied by Ukraine and the West and saying it was Kyiv, not Moscow, that was refusing to talk. He thanked Ramaphosa for his “noble mission”.

In his video message, Zelenskiy said the talks in St. Petersburg had demonstrated that only Ukraine’s peace plan calling for a withdrawal of all Russian troops was realistic.

“Everything discussed in Russia was about the war, about how to destroy lives further,” he said.

In Kyiv, Zelenskiy had told the African delegation – the first since the start of the war to hold face-to-face talks with both leaders – that talks would just “freeze the war”.

The gulf between the two sides was further underlined when Putin used an economic forum on Friday to slur Zelenskiy and to restate the aims of “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” Ukraine, rejected by Kyiv and the West as a pretext for invasion.


Ramaphosa tweeted on Sunday that the mission had been “impactful and its ultimate success will be measured on the objective, which is stopping the war”. He said the Africans would keep talking to both Putin and Zelenskiy.

The war has destroyed Ukrainian towns and cities, forced millions of people to flee their homes and taken heavy but undisclosed casualties among both armies.

Each side accuses the other of blowing up the Kakhovka power dam on June 6 in Kherson region and flooding vast areas of the war zone. Russia seized Kherson region in the early days of the invasion and still controls parts of it.

The U.N. statement, issued by its humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, said the world body “will continue to engage to seek the necessary access” to Russian-controlled areas

“We urge the Russian authorities to act in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law. Aid cannot be denied to people who need it.”

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