Ukrainian troops ‘gain ground’ in the south
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Ukrainian troops ‘gain ground’ in the south

Ukrainian forces claim to have moved forward in intense street fighting in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk but say their only hope of turning the tide is more artillery to neutralize Russia’s massive firepower.

Ukrainian troops 'gain ground' in the south

In the south, Ukraine’s defense ministry said it had broken new ground in a counterattack in Kherson province, targeting most of the territory Russia has taken since its February invasion.

The battle among the ruins of Sievierodonetsk, a small industrial city, has become one of the war’s bloodiest, with Russia concentrating its invasion force there.

Both sides say they have made huge casualties.

Sievierodonetsk and its sister city Lysychansk across the Siverskyi Donets River are the last Ukrainian-controlled parts of Luhansk Province, which Russia is determined to capture as one of its main war targets.

Russian forces are focusing all their power on the area, Ukraine’s Security Council secretary Oleksiy Danilov said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.

“They don’t spare their people; they just send men as cannon fodder,” he said.

“They are shelling our army day and night.”

Two Britons and a Moroccan who were captured while fighting for Ukraine were sentenced to death on Thursday by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), one of Russia’s proxies in eastern Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.

In a periodic update from Sievierodonetsk, the commander of Ukraine’s Svoboda National Guard Battalion, Petro Kusyk, said Ukrainians lured the Russians into street fighting to neutralize Russia’s artillery advantage.

“Yesterday was successful for us – we launched a counter-offensive, and in some areas, we pushed them back a block or two. In others, they pushed us back, but only through a building or two,” he said in a television interview. Interview.

“Yesterday, the occupiers suffered serious losses – if every day were like yesterday, this would soon be over.”

But he said his troops suffered from a “catastrophic” lack of counter-battery artillery to fire back at the Russian guns, and getting such weapons would change the battlefield.

“Even without these systems, we’re doing well. There’s an order to hold our positions, and we’re holding them. It’s unbelievable what the surgeons do without the proper equipment to save soldiers’ lives.”

On Thursday, Sievierodonetsk mayor Oleksandr Stryuk said that about 10,000 civilians are still trapped in the city, about a tenth of the pre-war population.

West of Sievierodonetsk, Russia is trapping Ukrainian forces in the Donbas region, comprising Luhansk and neighboring Donetsk province, from the north and south, shelling Ukrainian-controlled towns with artillery in their path.

In the south, Russia is trying to impose its rule on a stretch of occupied territory stretching across Kherson and Zaporizhzhya provinces, where Russia-installed proxy authorities say they are planning referendums to join Russia.

Ukraine’s defense ministry said on Thursday that its forces had reclaimed some of the territories in a counter-offensive in Kherson.

It gave no details on the location of the advance but said Russian forces “had suffered losses in manpower and equipment” and had planted mines and erected barricades as they were pushed back.

Ukraine reported a counter-offensive in Kherson last week, claiming to have captured a bridgehead on the south bank of the Inhulets River that formed a border of the province, a claim supported this week by the British Defense Ministry.

The situation there could not be independently confirmed.