Ukraine says after the first tough battle is going on

Akash Arjun

Global Courant

June 12 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s top military command said on Monday its troops were engaged in heavy fighting in frontline hotspots, a day after Kiev said it had made its first modest gains in reclaiming territory from Russia as part of his counteroffensive.

Over the past day, there were about 25 battles near the eastern city of Bakhmut and further south at Avdiivka and Maryinka, all in the Donetsk region, but also near Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region, the general staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Ukraine said on Sunday its troops had made progress in three Donetsk villages: Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka.

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The claims could not be independently verified and there was no immediate comment from Russian officials.

Some prominent Russian military bloggers indicated that while Ukrainian forces took Blahodatne and Neskuchne, fighting continued over Makarivka.

Both sides have said that over the past week, as Ukraine’s counter-offensive took shape, their forces had inflicted heavy losses of personnel and equipment on their opponents.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukraine had failed to breach Russian defenses, while his defense ministry said it had destroyed several Leopard tanks and other equipment Ukraine had received from the West.

While remaining largely silent on its counter-offensive over the past week, the Ukrainian military has reported daily successes on the battlefield.

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“In the past week, the Russian invaders in the direction of Bakhmut have suffered significant losses,” the general staff said on Monday.

The governor of Ukraine’s Donetsk region said one civilian was killed and two wounded by Russian fire in the Avdiivka region on Sunday.

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Kiev wanted to discuss the details of the “aircraft coalition” with its allies at the next Ukrainian Defense Contact Group meeting on June 15 in Brussels.

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Zelenskiy has long called for US-made F-16 fighter jets, saying their acquisition with Ukrainian pilots would be a sure signal to the world that the Russian invasion would end in defeat.

“At this stage we are talking about the training of pilots … and our technicians and engineers,” Ukrainian military media center quoted Reznikov as saying.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; editing by Robert Birsel)

Ukraine says after the first tough battle is going on

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