Ukraine says it is liberating a strategic settlement in the southeast

Ukrainian soldiers of the separate assault battalion

Ukrainian soldiers of the Separate Assault Battalion “Skala” enter the besieged village of Robotyn, Zaporizhia Region, Ukraine, in this screenshot from video released August 25, 2023. Separate Assault Battalion “Skala” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters/File Image Obtain licensing rights

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Monday its forces had liberated the southeastern settlement of Ropotyn and were trying to advance south in its counter-offensive against Russian forces.

The Ukrainian military said last week that its forces had raised the national flag in the strategic settlement, but were still carrying out mopping-up operations.

A commander who led the troops to Ropotyn told Reuters last week that Ukrainian forces believed they had breached Russia’s toughest lines of defense in the south and would now start advancing more quickly.

The military quoted Deputy Defense Minister Hana Maliar as saying, “Two robots have been released.”

The settlement is located 10 km south of the front-line town of Orekiv in Zaporizhia region, on an important road leading to Tokmak, a Russian-occupied road and rail hub.

Control of Tokmak will be a milestone as Ukrainian forces advance south towards the Sea of ​​Azov in a military campaign aimed at splitting Russian forces after a full-scale invasion of Moscow in February 2022.

Malyar told Ukrainian television that Ukrainian forces, which began their counter-offensive in early June, are now moving southeast of Robotyn and south of nearby Mala Tokmashka.

Ukraine’s success in regaining control of Ropotyn, which Russia has not confirmed, follows media reports of a meeting this month between NATO’s top military commanders and Ukraine’s top general about resetting Ukraine’s military strategy.

“It’s very hot” on the Eastern Front

Ukrainian forces are also fighting Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, and progress has been slower than widely expected in the counterattack because they encountered vast Russian minefields and trenches.

Maliar described the situation on the battlefield in the east as “very hot” over the past week. She added that the Russian forces are gathering new forces there and regrouping, and that Moscow aims to deploy its best forces there.

It added that Ukrainian forces continued their advance south of Bakhmut, referring to the nearly destroyed eastern city that Russian forces captured in May after months of fierce fighting.

She added that during the past week, the Ukrainian forces regained a square kilometer around Bakhmut, and the Russian forces did not make any progress.

In the latest of Russia’s repeated air strikes on Ukraine, two people were killed overnight when a vegetable oil factory was hit in the central Poltava region, the region’s governor said.

Russia announced that it shot down a Ukrainian drone that was heading towards Moscow in the early hours of Monday morning, in an accident that briefly disrupted flights over the Russian capital.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the situation on the battlefield from reports of the latest attacks.

Reporting by Tom Palmforth, writing by Anna Proshnica, editing by Timothy Heritage

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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