Ukrainian forces successfully took back control of a village in Kherson on Sunday, a major development following the announcement of a fresh counter-offensive in the southern region of Ukraine.
In a post on Telegram, Turiy Sobolevskyi, the first deputy head of the Kherson Oblast Council, announced that the village of Vysokopillya was once again under Ukrainian control.
“Vysokopyla is Ukraine.❤” the post reads, confirming reports that soldiers had pushed Russian forces out of the region entirely.
A photograph of Ukrainian soldiers raising the Ukrainian flag over the village was shared by an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday, declaring victory. The photograph, which was shared on Facebook showed three soldiers on rooftops in the town attaching a Ukrainian flag to a pole.
The Ukrainian president announced the liberation of three settlements in total on Sunday but stopped short of offering the names of the two other towns. Two villages are believed to have been recaptured in southern Ukraine – one of which is likely Vysokopillya – and another was reportedly recaptured in the east.
Zelenskyy thanked the troops in his nightly address on Sunday, stating that there is “No place for the occupiers” in Ukraine.
“And today I want to thank the warriors of the 63rd battalion of the 103rd territorial defense brigade who ensured the result in the Donetsk region: the settlement was liberated,” Zelenskyy said.
“The 54th brigade in the Lysychansk-Siversk direction also took good steps, advanced and regained certain heights. I would also like to mention the 42nd separate motorized infantry battalion – thanks to its heroic actions, two settlements in the south of our country were liberated.”
“Slow” and Steady Progress
It’s positive news for Ukraine, especially given that a senior adviser to the Ukrainian president warned last Tuesday not to get too hopeful about the counteroffensive in the region.
“Of course, many would like a large-scale offensive with news about the capture by our military of a settlement in an hour, but we don’t fight like that…funds are limited,” advisor Oleksiy Arestovych noted on Telegram.
While progress may still be “slow” as Arestovych also said, the capture of even a single village in Kherson is good progress and a sign that the Russians truly are on the back foot again.
As Ukrainian forces continue their efforts to regain control of southeastern regions of the country slowly, however, Russian news outlets are telling a different story. The Economist describes how “Russian information websites have peddled the concept Ukraine’s southern push has failed, at an enormous price in lives.”
Russian outlets reportedly described a massive surge in the wounded and killed in Kherson Oblast, but Mykolaiv, a major port city in Kherson Oblast that saw several killed and a medical facility damaged over the weekend, has not seen a significant uptick in the number of civilian casualties as a result of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. In fact, the latest shelling over the weekend came from Russian forces.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.