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Ukrainian troops can be seen holding a bullet-ridden on the battlefield in this picture released on July 18, 2023. — Instagram/@zelenskiy_official
Ukrainian troops can be seen holding a bullet-ridden on the battlefield in this picture released on July 18, 2023. — Instagram/@zelenskiy_official

As fierce fighting between the two militaries continue displacing thousands of people and damaging millions of dollars in infrastructure, the Ukranian military claimed to regain its territory in the southeast, indicating towards retreat of Russian forces.

According to a video published by President Volodomyr Zelensky, Ukrainian troops claim control of the village of Staromaiorske.

Army stated that the village — 150km (90 miles) east of the city of Zaporizhzhia — was taken over after intense fighting, accompanied by air support.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also indicated towards the Ukrainian offensive intensifying, however, unsuccessfully.

He said in St Petersburg: “All counter-offensive attempts were stopped, and the enemy was pushed back with high casualties.”

According to Russian militia leader Aleksandr Khodakovsky, Ukraine had methodically shelled Staromaiorske for days and secured areas, holding on to the outskirts and giving tough time.

Ukrainian artillery vehicles can be seen firing a missile on the battlefield in this picture released on July 14, 2023. — Instagram/@zelenskiy_official
Ukrainian artillery vehicles can be seen firing a missile on the battlefield in this picture released on July 14, 2023. — Instagram/@zelenskiy_official

The video was posted by President Zelensky with troops holding up a Ukrainian flag in the village. Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said they were now “continuing to clear the settlement”.

Ukrainian much-awaited counter-offensive started on a number of fronts last month with little gains. Kyiv’s generals suggested that immediate success is almost impossible due to Russia’s fortified defensive lines and rows of minefields.

President Vladimir Putin also stated earlier this week that the counteroffensive of Kyiv planned against Moscow’s forces has failed.

While meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Saint Petersburg — after Wagner’s failed mutiny late last month — for two-day talks.

“There is no counteroffensive,” Lukashenko said before being interrupted by Putin: “There is one, but it has failed.”

Since there’s no update regarding the advances, the US defence officials told the media that “a new push has begun in the Ukrainian counter-offensive.”

The US-based Institute for the Study of War said an “intense frontal assault” had been launched towards Robotyne, to the southeast of Zaporzhhia city and some 10km (6 miles) south of the town of Orikhiv.

WarGonzo claimed that Ukrainian forces were bombarding Russian forces on the northern and eastern outskirts of Robotyne. It was not confirmed by Kyiv. The Russian defence ministry said Ukrainian attacks there had been repelled.

Defence Minister Hanna Maliar spoke of a “gradual advance” by Ukraine towards Melitopol and Berdyansk, with an advance towards either city marking a decisive step for Kyiv.

Maliar said: “Ukrainian forces were gradually moving forward and fighting was taking place in three villages on the front line directly south of the city.”

“The fighting is pretty harsh. Enemy fire is intense,” she added.

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