The Ukrainian army said on Saturday (10) that its forces had made important advances in the east of the country, as part of a counteroffensive to recapture territories taken by the Russians in the early days of the invasion.
“Ukrainian troops are advancing in eastern Ukraine, liberating more cities and towns. Their bravery, together with western military support, is producing extraordinary results,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement. a statement posted on social media.
“It is crucial to continue sending weapons to Ukraine. Defeating Russia on the battlefield means a victory for peace in Ukraine,” he added.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in the Ukrainian capital on a surprise visit to show her country’s support for Ukraine against Russia, she said.
On Saturday, Ukrainian forces said they had entered Kupiansk, an eastern city that has been under Russian control for months. Special forces posted photos on social media showing their fighters “in Kupiansk, which will always be Ukrainian”. In another message, a regional official posted an image with Ukrainian soldiers in the city and wrote that “Kupiansk is Ukraine”.
(VIDEO: Ukrainian military releases video of flag-raising in Balakliia).
Ukrainian military releases video of flag-raising in Balakliia
On Friday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that his troops had retaken about 30 cities in the northeast of the countryin the Kharkiv region, as part of this counteroffensive.
already the The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday announced the deployment of forces to the region and released a video showing several military trucks carrying cannons and armored vehicles..
The largest city so far reconquered by Ukrainian troops is Balaklia, where around 30,000 people lived before the war. Some reports suggest that Kiev’s forces advanced further east, but these data could not be verified.
“As long as it takes”
Taking over urban centers like Kupiansk and Izium could be a severe blow to Russia’s ability to maintain its positions on the eastern frontline.
In Grakove, a town recaptured by Ukrainian forces, power poles and cables were knocked down, reported AFP journalists. In the abandoned houses, stray dogs and cats tried to find food.
Annalena Baerbock, pictured on September 7, 2022 in Berlin, Germany. — Photo: REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/File Photo
“It was terrifying, there were bombings and explosions everywhere,” said Anatoly Vasiliev, 61, one of the few residents who remained in the village.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Kiev for the second time on Saturday since the start of the conflict on February 24, a week after Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal traveled to Berlin, where he again asked more weapons.
“I traveled to Kiev to show that they can continue to count on us,” Baerbock said in a statement, assuring that Germany would continue to support Kiev “for as long as necessary, with weapons supplies, humanitarian and financial support.”
In recent weeks, Germany has sent howitzers, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles into Ukraine, part of a Western-supplied arsenal of weaponry that observers say may have undermined Russia’s military capabilities.
His visit followed one by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who pledged nearly $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine and neighboring countries on Thursday.