Ukraine claims new gains after days of mass Russian strikes

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Ukraine said Wednesday it reclaimed more territory from Russia in the south, while welcoming the delivery of Western air defence systems that Kyiv said would usher in a “new era” after mass strikes from Moscow.

Russia for two days pummelled Ukraine with missiles, damaging energy facilities nationwide, in attacks that President Vladimir Putin said were retaliation for a deadly explosion at the Crimea bridge.

But it also claimed to have foiled two more attacks that Ukrainian special services allegedly planned to carry out on Russian territory.

Kyiv has neither confirmed nor denied it attacked the bridge, a vital transport link but also a matter of pride for Putin, who personally inaugurated the structure in 2018.

Kyiv said Wednesday that it had retaken five more settlements in the southern region of Kherson — one of the four territories Moscow said it annexed in late September — in the latest setback for Russia’s campaign.

“Ukrainian armed forces have liberated five more settlements in Beryslav district (of Kherson region): Novovasylivka, Novogrygorivka, Nova Kamyanka, Tryfonivka, Chervone,” the presidency said in its daily report.

The Ukrainian army announced its counteroffensive in the south in late August. 

Faced with mounting setbacks since September, the Russian president announced the mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of reservists to join the fighting in Ukraine. 

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he believes his Russian counterpart had “miscalculated” the situation in Ukraine and underestimated the ferocity of Ukrainian defiance.

– Mass graves discovered –

“A new era of air defence has begun in Ukraine,” Ukraine’s Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Twitter, announcing the arrival of Germany’s Iris-Ts and the upcoming delivery of NASAMS from Washington. 

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the G7 club of wealthy nations to help Kyiv create an “air shield”, warning that Russia “still has room for further escalation.

In Lyman, a railway hub retaken by Ukraine in early October, a forensic team dressed in protective gear was exhuming dozens of bodies, an AFP journalist saw. 

Russian forces have been accused of numerous abuses — torture, rape, extrajudicial executions — in Ukraine, claims Moscow has repeatedly denied. 

Originally published as Ukraine claims new gains after days of mass Russian strikes


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