Intense battles continued on June 19 as Russian forces focused on Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region and as Kyiv tried to dislodge Russian troops from southern areas, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff said.
Russian forces continued to focus on the areas of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Maryinka in the Donetsk region. There were 39 combat clashes, according to the General Staff’s evening summary on June 19.
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According to the military, during the day the Russian Army carried out 32 air strikes and about 40 attacks from rocket-salvo systems on Ukrainian positions and on populated areas.
The Ukrainian Air Force made 15 strikes on areas where enemy personnel were concentrated, the General Staff said.
Ukrainian officials confirmed earlier that they have retaken their first village in the Zaporizhzhya region that hosts a major nuclear power plant.
The confirmation that Ukrainian troops retook the village of Pyatykhatky came hours after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed in his regular nightly video address that his country would retake all its territory as Kyiv continues its “de-occupation steps.”
A family of six, including two children, was evacuated from Pyatykhatky, said Yuriy Malashko, head of the Zaporizhzhya military administration. Malashko said about 20 civilians remain in the village.
Moscow has not mentioned Pyatykhatky, but it said Russian forces had repelled numerous assaults. It also released a video of what it said was a French-made tank seized in eastern Donetsk.
Valeriy Zaluzhniy, commander in chief of Ukrainian forces, said Russian occupiers in southern Ukraine were being met with “fierce resistance.” The Ukrainians’ advance has been hampered by fortifications, minefields, and a “large number of reserves,” but the operation will remain on schedule, he said on Telegram on June 19.
Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar confirmed earlier on June 19 that Ukrainian armed forces had retaken their first village in the Zaporizhzhya region since Kyiv recently started its counteroffensive.
The day before, the Russian-installed governor of Ukraine’ s Zaporizhzhya region, Vladimir Rogov, and Kremlin-backed reporters said Russian forces had left the village of Pyatykhatky, while the Russian Defense Ministry said attacks by Ukrainian forces in the village had been repelled.
Malyar said Ukrainian troops liberated 113 square kilometers in two weeks.
Kyiv said there had been 59 air strikes over the previous 24 hours.
The head of a local people’s council under Odesa’s regional military administration, Serhiy Bratchuk, said Russian Black Sea submarines had attacked that region with four Kalibr missiles overnight but that all four were “destroyed” thanks to Ukrainian air-defense forces.
In Russia, the governor of the border region of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov, said via Telegram on June 19 that seven civilians were hurt overnight when the town of Valuyki was shelled. Reuters quoted him as saying one of the nine buildings that had been damaged was on fire.
Russia exercises tight censorship to control reporting on the conflict, and RFE/RL could not immediately confirm the Belgorod report’s authenticity.
Ukrainian forces have generally avoided taking responsibility for any attacks inside Russian territory since the invasion began. Individuals claiming to be disaffected Russian saboteurs have said they are behind some of the attacks in Russia that have become frequent in recent weeks.
Source : Rferl