“Seven settlements have been liberated: Lobkove, Levadne, Novodarivka, Neskuchne, Storozheve, Makarivka, and Blagodatne,” state news agency Ukrinform cited deputy defense minister Hanna Malyar as saying.
She added that over the past week during the offensive operations in the operational areas of Donetsk in the east and Tavriysk in the south, the troops advanced 6.5 kilometers and the area of territory Ukrainians reclaimed control over was 90 square kilometers.
Washington-based think tank Institute of Study of War (ISW) wrote in an assessment on Sunday that Ukrainian forces made “visually verified advances in western Donetsk Oblast and western Zaporizhia Oblast,” which Russian sources “confirmed but sought to downplay.” However, while Ukrainian forces did liberate several towns, it was too early to claim a “Ukrainian breakthrough,” ISW added.
The recapture of seven settlements came in addition to the Ukrainian defense ministry announcing a modest advance by the armed forces in the vicinity of the eastern city of Bakhmut. This key city, which Russian forces had claimed control of recently after nearly 10 months of intensive fighting, has seen Ukrainian forces push forward by 250 to 700 meters.
A day earlier, fierce clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces were reported across multiple widespread battlefronts. Ukrainian forces, now equipped with the latest shipments of Western weapon systems, have made gains, successfully retaking three villages in the Donetsk region: Blahodatne, Neskuchne, and Makarivka. Those represented early victories for Kyiv in its highly anticipated counter-offensive to reclaim territories currently under Russian control.