The Ukrainian army said this Saturday that it entered Kupiansk, a key city in eastern Ukraine that was in the hands of Russian forces for months, as part of a counteroffensive that allowed “extraordinary” advances.
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Ukrainian special forces posted pictures on social media showing their fighters “in Kupiansk, which was and always will be Ukrainian.”
The town of about 27,000 inhabitants is located on an important supply route for Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. It fell into Russian hands shortly after Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Observers expect Ukrainian forces to announce further military victories in the Kharkov region, which borders Russia, which has been the target of Russian bombardment in recent months.
“Ukrainian troops are advancing in eastern Ukraine, liberating more towns and villages. Their bravery, coupled with Western military support, is yielding extraordinary results,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement. disclosed on social media.
“It is crucial to continue sending weapons to Ukraine. Defeating Russia on the battlefield means a victory for peace in Ukraine,” he added.
On Friday night, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky announced that his troops had retaken some 30 towns in the northeast of the country, in the Kharkov region, as part of that counteroffensive.
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The head of the Russian administration installed in the town of Izium, also in the Kharkov region, told the Russian public news agency RIA Novosti that the situation in that area was “very difficult.”
“In the last two weeks, the city has been shelled by Ukrainian forces … which is causing serious destruction and many deaths and injuries,” Vladislav Sokolov told RIA Novosti.
On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced a deployment of forces in that region and released a video showing several military trucks carrying cannons and armored vehicles.
(You can read: Vladimir Putin warns that Russia will ‘resist’ Western aggression)
Taking urban centers like Kupiansk and Izium could deal a serious blow to Russia’s ability to hold its positions on the eastern front line.
Ukrainian troops also advanced several tens of kilometers along the southern front into territory captured by Russian troops, a military spokesman said on Saturday.
Russian agencies, for their part, reported six explosions in Nova Khakovka, a town controlled by Russian forces in the Kherson region in the south.
Support from Germany
The German Foreign Minister visited kyiv for the second time this Saturday since the conflict began, on February 24, a week after the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Shmygal, traveled to Berlin, where he again asked for more weapons.
“I have traveled to kyiv to show that they can continue to count on us,” Baerbock said in a statement, assuring that Germany will continue to support kyiv “for as long as necessary, with arms supplies and humanitarian and financial support.”
In recent weeks, Germany has sent howitzers, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, part of an arsenal of Western-supplied weaponry that observers say may have undermined Russia’s military capabilities.
(Keep reading: Moscow will respond if the European Union suspends visas to its citizens)
His visit followed another by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who pledged nearly $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries on Thursday.
In Brussels, where he met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Blinken said on Friday that the fact that Russia is sending reinforcements to the Kharkov area shows that Moscow is paying a “huge price” for the invasion of Ukraine. , launched more than six months ago.
However, with their bombing campaign, the Russian forces caused serious damage in the Kharkov region and in the Donbas basin in the east.
Oleg Synegubov, the Kharkiv regional governor, claimed that the Russian strikes, a “revenge” for the successful counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces, had left 14 civilians injured.
Pavlo Kyrylenko, leader of Donetsk, in the Donbas basin, reported that Russian bombardments left two dead in his region.
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