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Ukraine declares first gains of counter-offensive against Russia, reclaims 3 villages

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Ukraine announced on Sunday that its forces have reclaimed control of three villages in the largely Russian-occupied regions of the Donetsk, marking the first gains of the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

Ukraine’s ground forces announced that soldiers of the 68th separate hunting brigade “liberated the settlement of Blahodatne,” state news agency Ukrinform reported. Additionally, the deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar said “settlements of Blahodatne and Makarivka have been liberated from Russian invaders.”

The Ukrainian forces also said they had captured a number of Russian soldiers and that the information they obtained from them will help in the operations to reclaim Ukrainian land from Russian occupation.

Malyar added that Ukrainian troops were continuing assault operations in the area of the key city of Bakhmut.

The deputy minister said: “Not a single position has been lost in the areas where our troops are on the defensive.” She added that the Ukrainian army made advances between 300 and 1,500 meters in two sectors in the south.

The Ukrainian forces’ recapture of the three villages, Blahodatne, Neskuchne and Makarivka in the Donetsk region represents the first military gains for Ukraine as part of its long-awaited counter-offensive to reclaim Russian-occupied territories armed with the latest shipments of Western weapon systems.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy acknowledged on Saturday that the Ukrainian army was conducting “counter-offensive and defensive” operations but refused to elaborate further.

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