Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Monday that they continued offensive actions in the Melitopol and Berdiansk directions, but they should not be expected to “act quickly”.
“The Ukrainian Armed Forces continue offensive actions in the Melitopol and Berdiansk directions. The enemy in the southern direction is well fortified with mines and concrete. They are pulling up their professional units, paratroopers, and equipment. Fierce fighting is taking place. But our military is destroying this equipment very effectively,” said Hanna Malyar, Deputy Minister of Defense.
She added that last week, the Ukrainian Armed Forces destroyed 18 Russian tanks, 29 armored combat vehicles, artillery systems, mortars, and even one helicopter in the southern sector, as well as destroyed special equipment and air defense systems, according to state news agency Ukrinform.
“This means that the enemy in the southern direction cannot fully defend itself. Our Armed Forces are weakening it in order to move forward,” Malyar said.
However, she stressed that there can be no quick action here, because powerful forces are engaged in a battle, and Russian forces should not be underestimated. “They have an advantage in air, weapons, and personnel.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s defense ministry said its forces repelled five attacks by the Ukrainian army’s strategic reserve units near the settlement of Rabotino in the Zaporozhye area over the past day, according to state news agency TASS.
Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said: “In the Zaporozhye direction, five attacks by units of the 82nd air assault brigade from the Ukrainian army’s strategic reserve were repelled by well-coordinated actions of the Russian battlegroup’s forces with the support of missile troops, artillery, heavy flamethrower systems and aircraft near the settlement of Rabotino in the Zaporozhye Region.”
Additionally he said that Russian forces repulsed four Ukrainian army attacks in the Kupyansk area over the past day. “In the past 24 hours, four attacks by units of the Ukrainian army’s 25th airborne, 95th air assault and 14th mechanized brigades were repulsed near the settlements of Sinkovka in the Kharkov Region and Novosyolovskoye in the Lugansk People’s Republic.”
In the Kupyansk area, Konashenkov said: “The enemy’s losses totaled as many as 160 Ukrainian personnel, five armored combat vehicles, two motor vehicles, a US-made M777 artillery system, a Polish-manufactured Krab self-propelled artillery gun, a US-made M109 Paladin self-propelled artillery system and an Akatsiya motorized artillery gun and two US-manufactured AN/TPQ-50 counter-battery radar stations.”
Al Arabiya English could not independently verify battlefield reports.