Ukrainian forces target Zaporizhzhia in counter-offensive, heavy fighting reported

Heavy fighting continues in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia region, with Ukrainian troops, supported by tanks, artillery, and drones, attempting to advance south of the town of Orikhiv for a second consecutive night. Military experts believe that the focus of Ukraine’s counter-offensive will be on regaining access to the Sea of Azov and dividing the Russian forces in the region to weaken their combat capabilities.

Although Kyiv remains tight-lipped regarding the counter-offensive, the US-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) announced on Thursday that it had begun. The UK defence ministry also stated that heavy fighting was ongoing along multiple sectors of the front, and Ukraine held the initiative in most areas.

Russia took control of a large portion of the Zaporizhzhia region, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, after President Vladimir Putin initiated a full-scale invasion in February 2022. However, Ukraine still controls the regional capital, Zaporizhzhia city. Late on Thursday, several Russian pro-Kremlin military bloggers reported that Ukraine had resumed its attacks overnight, deploying armoured personnel carriers and drones to direct artillery fire.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed local official, confirmed that there was active fighting between Orikhiv and Tokmak, with Russian troops holding their positions. Many military experts view the town of Tokmak as a key target for Ukraine in its push towards the Sea of Azov. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed that the earlier Ukrainian assault had been repelled, causing damage to the enemy, but provided no evidence to support his statement.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister, Hanna Maliar, announced on Thursday that Russian forces were currently in active defence in the Zaporizhzhia direction. In a recent bulletin, Ukraine’s military stated that the enemy continued to be on the defensive towards Zaporizhzhia and in the neighbouring Kherson region, which experienced massive flooding after a major dam collapsed earlier this week. The Ukrainian military also reported that Russian troops had conducted air strikes and used artillery during the day.

Ukraine has been preparing a counter-offensive for months, aiming to train troops and receive advanced military equipment from Western allies before launching the attack. Last month, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, told the BBC that Kyiv was ready to launch the offensive, without specifying a date.

World News

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Lilly Larkin

Lilly is a writer with a diverse international background, having lived in various countries including Thailand. Her unique experiences provide valuable insights and culturally sensitive perspectives in her news reporting. When not writing, Lilly enjoys exploring local art scenes, volunteering for community projects, and connecting with people from different cultures.