Ukrainian army pushes back Russian troops around kyiv
Western military representatives report that the Ukrainian armed forces have gained ground in the fight against the Russian attackers. According to a Pentagon representative on Wednesday, the Ukrainian military managed to push Russian troops back east of kyiv more than 30 kilometers in 24 hours. “We are beginning to see them dig in and establish defensive positions,” he added.
The US Defense Department said on Tuesday that the Russian armed forces were still about 20 kilometers from the center of the Ukrainian capital. Now, the representative said: “The Ukrainians managed to push the Russians back 55 kilometers to the east and northeast of kyiv.”
Earlier, kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said Ukrainian forces had regained control of “the small town of Makariv and almost all of Irpin.” AFP journalists reported heavy artillery shelling in Irpin.
British military intelligence said Ukraine “probably retook Makariv and Moscow” northwest of the capital. “There is a realistic chance that Ukrainian forces can now encircle Russian units at Bucha and Irpin.”
According to the Pentagon, the Russian armed forces are also not advancing in the vicinity of the city of Chernihiv, north of kyiv. The Russian soldiers were trapped there ten kilometers from the center. In some areas, Russian soldiers have recently withdrawn. “They are even moving in the opposite direction, but not much,” the ministry official said.
Russian troops are still facing “very, very strong” resistance from the Ukrainians in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, which has been hard-fought, he said. There, the Russian armed forces are still 15 to 20 kilometers from the city center.
According to the Pentagon representative, the Russian military is now increasingly concentrating on the pro-Russian breakaway areas of Luhansk and Donetsk. According to the report, the Russian military is apparently pursuing a strategy of “tying down” Ukrainian forces stationed along the former front line in eastern Ukraine so that they “cannot deploy anywhere else.”
The Pentagon made little change in the vicinity of the Odessa metropolis, on the Black Sea. Unlike earlier in the week, no more missiles have been fired from Russian ships in the direction of the port city in the last 48 hours, the Pentagon representative said.
Meanwhile, the Russian Navy used the port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov to refuel its ships. Berdyansk is one of the few Ukrainian cities under the control of the Russian army a month after the beginning of the Russian invasion.
The situation in the city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, surrounded by Russian troops, remains dramatic. As the city council announced on Telegram, in the largest hospital in the city, patients would be treated in the basement by candlelight. “They try to save as much fuel as possible, which is why diesel generators are only used for complicated operations,” the council explained. According to the information, up to 700 people from the area fled to the hospital in addition to the patients.
According to the Ukrainian government, some 100,000 people remain trapped in the besieged and largely destroyed city. Numerous Western representatives have condemned the Russian attacks there as “war crimes”.
Meanwhile, a senior NATO official said Wednesday night that publicly available sources, intelligence information and Ukrainian figures indicated that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers had been killed since the war began. Based on the historical experience of the ratio of dead, prisoners and wounded, the total number of Russian sorties can be estimated between 30,000 and 40,000. The Russian government had only given its own losses at a few hundred. (AFP)