Ukraine Reclaims “Annexed” Land in Ukraine: Ukrainian troops reclaimed yet more territory from Russian forces in recent days – in areas already “annexed” by Moscow.
Russian defenses in the southern region of Kherson were breached by Ukrainian troops over the weekend, with Ukrainian troops now consolidating their gains in the east.
In his nightly address to the nation on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that two settlements in the Kherson region, Myrolyubivka and Arkhangelsk were liberated from Russian control. The president also announced that Lyman, a key city in Donetsk Oblast, had also been liberated from the Russians after Ukrainian troops encircled Russians stationed in the city over the weekend.
The gains were also acknowledged by Moscow.
During a daily briefing, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov recognized the “superior tank units” used by Ukrainian forces “in the direction of Zolotaya Balka”, describing how they “managed to penetrate into the depths of our defense.”
The Russian spokesman added that Russian troops now occupy a “preprepared defensive line and continue to inflict massive fire damage” on Ukrainian forces.
Kremlin-backed leader of Kherson, Vladimir Saldo, also described how Ukrainian forces had broken through Russian lines near Dudchany, a town along the Dnieper River roughly 20 miles to the south of the old Russian line.
In response to the victories, a culmination of a series of major gains made by the Ukrainian military since the launch of its counter-offensive in the late summer, U.S. Defense Secretary said that Ukraine’s progress had “changed the dynamics” of the war and “created an opportunity for the Ukrainians to maneuver.”
Austin added that the United States will continue to provide security assistance to Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” even if Russia plows ahead with plans to secure the borders of the regions Putin claims were “annexed” last week.
Kyiv forces also saw some victories in Luhansk, with Russian proxy forces in the region revealing how Ukrainian soldiers had pushed several kilometers into Luhansk Oblast, heading towards Svatove and Kremenna.
Russia Already Working On Defining Borders
Despite not having full control over the annexed regions of Ukraine, Russian authorities are reportedly already “consulting” local people living on the borders of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described how Russian authorities are “consulting with the local population” to establish new borders around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts. Peskov also confirmed that there were no plans to hold further “referendums” in the territories.
Peskov also said that Donetsk and Luhansk would join the Russian Federation with the same administrative borders that existed before the conflict began in 2014.
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.