‘Significant’ Ukraine offensive ‘penetrates first line of Russian defences’, says UK

‘Significant’ Ukraine offensive ‘penetrates first line of Russian defences’, says UK

Ukrainian forces have “penetrated” the first line of Russian defences in several areas in eastern and southern Ukraine, British defence chiefs said.

In its latest intelligence update, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said “significant” Ukrainian operations have taken place in several parts of the country over the past 48 hours.

Ukrainian forces have “likely made good progress” and “penetrated the first line of Russian defences”, the MoD added. However, in other areas “Ukrainian progress has been slower”.

Meanwhile, Russian performance has been “mixed”, with some units “likely conducting credible manoeuvre defence operations while others have pulled back in some disorder, amid increased reports of Russian casualties as they withdraw through their own minefields”.

The update added: “The Russian Airforce has been unusually active over southern Ukraine, where the airspace is more permissive for Russia than in other parts of the country. However, it remains unclear whether tactical airstrikes have been effective.”

It comes after Volodymyr Zelensky praised the country’s armed forces for gains in fierce battles in the eastern Donetsk region in Ukraine.

In a video update yesterday, Ukraine’s President said there was “very heavy fighting in the Donetsk region”.

Highlighting the city of Bakhmut, where Kyiv’s troops have been trying to retake land from Russian forces who have occupied it, he added: “I am grateful to those who achieved these results. Well done in Bakhmut. Step by step.”

Separately, Russia fired missiles and attack drones at the central Ukrainian region of Poltava overnight, inflicting “some damage of infrastructure and equipment” at the Myrhorod military airfield, the regional governor said on Saturday.

The attack that used ballistic and cruise missiles also damaged eight private residential homes and several vehicles, governor Dmytro Lunin said on Telegram messenger.