More frontline villages liberated in counter-offensive, Ukraine says
Ukrainian forces have recaptured another village in the Donetsk oblast, according to Ukrainian deputy Defence minister Hanna Maliar. "The national flag once again flies over Storozheve. This will be done at every place until we completely liberate the Ukrainian country," she announced on Telegram on Monday.
Storozheve borders the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhya oblasts, or regions. Maliar published a picture showing soldiers carrying the Ukrainian flag in front of a destroyed house. She thanked the 35th Marine Infantry Brigade for recapturing the village.
"The national flag once again flies over Storozheve. This will be done at every place until we completely liberate the Ukrainian country"
The announcement follows the liberation of three nearby villages on Sunday evening by Ukrainian troops: Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka.
The Ukrainians are advancing along the Mokri Jaly river. According to Ukraine, Russian troops blew up another dam in the area to stall the offensive. The consequences of that dam breach are not yet clear; the Mokri Jaly is a relatively small river.
Russia downplays counteroffensive
Russia, meanwhile, is celebrating Russia Day, the country's national holiday. During a ceremony, president Vladimir Putin made no direct remarks about the Ukrainian offensive. Instead, he stuck to general remarks about it being a difficult time for Russia and supporting its soldiers during the "special military operation".
The Kremlin is deliberately downplaying Ukraine's counter-offensive successes, writes the US Institute for the Study of War. Russian sources dismiss the areas Ukraine recaptured as "grey zones" that were never fully under their control and suppress news about Ukrainian forces breaking through Russian lines.
© ANATOLII STEPANOV / AFP