Ukrainian troops appear to be relentlessly following the retreating Russian troops near Kherson. In the area around the southern Ukrainian city, 41 towns have already been liberated, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his daily video message on Thursday evening. The number of Ukrainian flags that have been “returned to their rightful place” as part of the ongoing defense operation is in the tens.
Since Wednesday alone, Ukrainian troops have advanced up to seven kilometers deep into the territory previously occupied by the Russians, reported the Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Valery Saluschnyi. According to the General Staff in Kiev, the Russian army was only slowly withdrawing to strengthen its defensive lines on the left bank of the Dnieper.
As the Ukrainian governor of the Mykolaiv region Vitaly Kim informed, the city of Chernobaivka is already under the control of Ukraine. He did not initially provide any further details. “We are silent because this is all a matter for the military. Friday is the 261st day of the war.
Selenski warns of the danger of mines
Selenski warned of danger in areas abandoned by the occupiers. “The first and most important task is demining,” he said. The occupiers left behind thousands of rubble and ammunition. “I have often heard estimates that it will take decades to clear Ukraine of Russian mines.” Around 170,000 square kilometers of land are still contaminated by mines.
The head of state of Ukraine pointed out that the achievements of the Ukrainian armed forces so far were achieved through “months of fierce fighting”. “It is not the enemy who is leaving – it is the Ukrainians who are driving out the occupiers,” Zelensk said. “And we must go all the way – on the battlefield and in diplomacy – so that our flags – Ukrainian flags – can be seen everywhere in our country, along our entire internationally recognized border. And no more enemy tricolors.”
Deputy Minister of Defense Hanna Maljarová spoke about the slow progress of Ukrainian troops in the east and south of the country. Although many people were hoping for “explosive news” from the fronts, things have progressed slowly so far, that’s just the dynamics of war. “There’s a different dynamic and a different phase of fighting at the moment,” she said on television Thursday night. “But the intensity of the fighting has not decreased.
Media: Russians devastate and destroy Kherson after withdrawal
According to media reports, Russian soldiers devastated the southern Ukrainian city while leaving Kherson. In addition to the television center, among other things, district heating systems and radio masts were blown up, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Thursday. In addition, the electricity in the city completely failed, as well as the Internet. Several bridges over the Dnieper have already been blown up in recent days.
The timetable for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson and the entire area around the city on the right bank of the Dnieper, which was ordered the day before, was not known. According to a report by the Russian news agency Tass, the police and emergency services units should leave the city only with the last soldiers.
The US is providing more military aid to Ukraine
To support Ukraine in its war of aggression against Russia, the United States is providing the country with additional military aid worth $400 million, the US Department of Defense announced Thursday in Washington. US military support to Kyiv has reached $19.3 billion since US President Joe Biden took office. The new package also included four Avenger air defense systems and Stinger missiles, as well as missiles for Hawk air defense systems, Pentagon deputy spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said. “We need exactly what we’ve been asking for,” Selenski said in the evening.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the United States also wants to buy ammunition from its ally South Korea to support Ukraine. There is a confidential arms deal between Seoul and Washington under which the US would buy 100,000 rounds of 150mm artillery ammunition from its ally, the paper said, citing US officials.
US government on negotiations: Do not pressure Ukraine
With regard to possible negotiations with Russia, the US government claims that it is not exerting any pressure on Ukraine. “We don’t insist on certain things, we advise as partners,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Thursday at the White House. The day before, Kyiv rejected a new offer for negotiations from Moscow based on the “current situation”. The Ukrainian leadership demands the complete withdrawal of Russian troops as a prerequisite for negotiations with Moscow.
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