Ukraine claimed early on Monday that its forces have retaken control of eight settlements in the direction of Berdiansk and Melitopol over the past two weeks in the ongoing “offensive” operations.
“Over the course of two weeks of offensive operations in the Berdiansk and Melitopol directions, eight settlements were liberated by units of the ‘Tavria’ Operational and Strategic Grouping of Troops: Novodarivka, Levadne, Storozheve, Makarivka, Blahodatne, Lobkove, Neskuchne, Piatykhatky,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on Telegram.
Maliar claimed that the Tavria grouping of troops advanced up to 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) during this time, retaking control of 113 square kilometers (43.6 square miles) area in southern Ukraine.
Maliar further claimed that Russian forces on the front line in eastern Ukraine made efforts to stop the advance of Ukrainian troops in the direction of Bakhmut, adding that she transferred additional units to this area.
“The overall intensity of fighting in this direction decreased last week, but the fighting continued – 41 skirmishes took place and our troops advanced deep into the enemy (territory) in several areas,” Maliar claimed.
She added that Russia continued to advance in the Lyman, Kupiansk, Avdiivka, and Marinka directions, claiming that Ukrainian forces did not lose “a single meter of the ground” in these areas.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an evening address on Sunday that his country’s troops are “advancing, position by position, step by step,” more than a week after announcing that the country is taking "appropriate counteroffensive and defensive actions" against Russia on the front line.