US sees 'notable progress' by Ukraine's army against heavily fortified Russian positions in south

The US government has said that Ukrainian forces have made "notable progress" in their push against heavily fortified Russian positions in the south.

The ongoing war has seen widespread damage to civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, including this house in the Mykolaiv region. Photo Courtesy: WFP/Anastasiia Honcharuk

White House security spokesman John Kirby was quoted as saying by BBC that those gains were made in the past 72 hours south of Zaporizhzhia, a city in southeastern Ukraine.

Kirby said Kyiv itself had admitted that the push in the south - aimed at splitting the Russian land corridor to Crimea - was going slower than had been hoped.

"They have achieved some success against that second line of Russian defences," he said.

Russia had launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have claimed they have penetrated the “first line” of Russian strongholds in the Zaporizhzhia region.

The Ukrainian military claimed its forces were pushing towards the village of Novoprokopivka, east of Robotyne, a village in Zaporizhzhia that Kyiv secured last week amid a grueling counteroffensive that is yielding incremental gains, a CNN report said.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour that Kyiv is “not failing” but “moving forward” in its counteroffensive.

“Our partners who are helping us, including the United States, they understand that things are moving in the right direction,” Kuleba insisted. “It’s a tough fight.”

The US government earlier announced the next package of military assistance to aid Ukraine.

"This package contains important capabilities to help Ukraine on the battlefield," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said in a statement.

The package includes AIM-9M missiles for air defence, munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, 155mm and 105mm artillery ammunition, mine-clearing equipment, Javelin and other anti-armour systems and rockets, over 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition, ambulances, demolition munitions for obstacle clearing, as well as spare parts, services, training, and transportation.

"This package of weapons and equipment, which are valued at $250 million, is being executed under drawdowns previously directed for Ukraine," Blinken said.

Blinken added that Russia is continuing to wage a brutal war of conquest that has killed many of Ukraine’s civilians and displaced millions of its people.

"Their attacks on Ukraine’s ports and grain infrastructure have caused price volatility in food and grain markets and worsened hunger and global food insecurity around the world," Blinken said.

"Russia started this war and could end it at any time by withdrawing its forces from Ukraine and stopping its brutal attacks. Until it does, the United States and our allies and partners will stand united with Ukraine, for as long as it takes," he said.

C to I News Desk
C to I News Desk – CtoI

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