According to Ukraine, it has recaptured more than 40 towns and villages in the south of the country from Russia. 41 settlements were “liberated” by the Russian occupiers, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Thursday evening. Russia, meanwhile, began to withdraw its troops from the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
“The number of Ukrainian flags returning to their rightful place as part of ongoing defense operations is already in the dozens,” Zelenskyy said. He spoke of “good news from the south”.
Russians retreat to the banks of the Dnipro
In Kherson, Russian units withdrew “to prepared positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River,” the Russian Defense Ministry said. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered the withdrawal from the strategically important southern Ukrainian city of Kherson and parts of the region of the same name. The Russian troops must therefore withdraw to the southeastern bank of the Dnipro.
“Free the country and keep casualties low”
Selenskyj reacted suspiciously to the announcement. “The enemy doesn’t give us gifts, make no gestures of goodwill,” he warned. That is why the Ukrainian army is acting “very carefully, without emotions, without undue risks”. He reiterated Ukraine’s goal to “liberate our entire country and keep the number of victims as low as possible”.
Kakhovka Dam supplies Crimea with water
The Kherson region has been the target of an extensive Ukrainian counter-offensive for weeks. For Moscow, the region is of great strategic importance to continue the offensive towards Mykolaiv and the Black Sea port of Odessa. In addition, the Kakhovka Dam is located in Kherson, which supplies water to the Crimean Peninsula annexed by Russia.
Should Kherson come back under Ukrainian control, Ukrainian forces could use their long-range artillery to hit Crimea directly from there.
Withdrawal from Kherson would be another victory for Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already spoken of a possible “further victory” for Ukraine. “We will have to wait and see how the situation on the ground develops in the coming days. What is clear, however, is that Russia is under a lot of pressure and that a withdrawal from Kherson would be another victory for Ukraine,” he said on Thursday. US President Joe Biden took the announcement of the withdrawal from Moscow as evidence that the Russian military was having “real problems” in the war in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, South Korea on Friday denied a Wall Street Journal report that the country wanted to supply artillery shells to Ukraine via the United States. Once negotiations are completed, the munitions will be used only by US troops, the Defense Ministry in Seoul said. South Korea’s policy of not supplying deadly weapons to Ukraine remains unchanged.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the United States wanted to buy ammunition from South Korea, which would then be delivered to Ukraine. The agreement is nearing completion. The newspaper quoted “US officials charged with the case”.
Committed $400 million in military aid
The United States has pledged $400 million in new military aid to Ukraine. Washington supplies the Avenger air defense system for the first time, as announced Thursday. According to the US Department of Defense, four Avenger systems and associated Stinger missiles are to be delivered.
Lithuania wants to buy multiple rocket launchers from US
The US also supplies Kiev with missiles for the Hawk air defense systems that Spain has pledged to Ukraine, ammunition for Himar rocket launchers, artillery ammunition, grenade launchers and more than 20 million ammunition for small arms. Lithuania, which borders Russia, says it plans to buy eight multiple Himars rocket launchers from the United States.
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.