The Ukrainian counter-offensive advances slightly; Putin rejects prospects of peace talks – POLITICO

1687096138 The Ukrainian counter offensive advances slightly Putin rejects prospects of peace | ltc-a

Ukrainian forces recaptured the village of Piatykhatky in the southern Zaporizhia region on Sunday, a local Russian occupation official said.

This is one of Ukraine’s first victories on this front since the counteroffensive against Russia’s illegal invasion of the country began this month.

« The enemy’s ‘wave-shaped’ offensives have yielded results, despite huge losses, » Russian-installed official Vladimir Rogov said on his Telegram channel, Reuters reported.

The UK Ministry of Defence She said on Sunday that « heavy fighting continued, with the most intense fighting concentrated in Zaporizhzhia oblast, western Donetsk oblast and around Bakhmut », the devastated city that was captured by Moscow last month. The ministry added that in all these areas Ukraine « has made little progress », but that « Russian forces often conduct relatively effective defensive operations ».

« Both sides are suffering high casualties, with Russian losses likely to be the highest since the height of the battle for Bakhmut in March, » the British ministry said.

The Ukrainian military also said on Sunday it had destroyed a « significant » ammunition depot near the Russian-occupied port city of Henichesk in the southern Kherson region.

Serhiy Bratchuk, spokesman for the Odessa military administration, said that « our armed forces struck a good blow in the morning – and a very strong one – in the village of Rykove, Henichesk district, in the temporarily occupied territory of the Kherson region ». He added that “there was a very significant ammunition cache. It was destroyed » Reuters reported.

POLITICO was unable to independently verify the information.

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian military launched a counteroffensive to try to regain control of the occupied territories in the south and east of the country. Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted on Friday that Ukraine would « no chance” successful in this venture.

Just as the Kiev counteroffensive was getting underway, the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam in southern Ukraine was blown up, forcing thousands to flee and hampering the pace of the Ukrainian army’s potential advance. Ukraine said Sunday the death toll had risen to 16 following the floods, while Russian officials said 29 people had died in Moscow-controlled territories, Reuters reported.

An investigation by the New York Times released on Friday found evidence suggesting that Russian forces may be responsible for shelling the dam.

A delegation of African leaders led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa met with Putin on Saturday in St. Petersburg to try to stimulate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

Put in he answered he was ready to revise any proposed peace plan, but he threw cold water at the African initiative by listing numerous reasons why the proposed plan did not meet Russian demands. These include Russia’s right to recognize the independence of the Russian-occupied Donbass region, a red line for Kiev.

Putin also reiterated his position that Ukraine and its Western allies started the conflict long before Russia sent its military across the border in February last year, which they deny.

“The special military operation against Ukraine, against the Kiev regime, was launched to ensure the safety of the people of Donbass… Now it is practically a war between Moscow and the collective West,” the presidential spokesman said Russian Dmitry Peskov, state-controlled TASS. Press Agency reported.