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Ukraine ‘holds initiative’ in counteroffensive against Russia: UK military chief

15.09.2023 09:45
Ukrainian troops “continue to hold the initiative” and are “making progress” in their counteroffensive against invading Russian forces, Britain’s most senior military officer has said.
Britains military chief Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.
Britain's military chief Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.PAP/PA/Andrew Milligan

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin made the assessment at the DSEI arms fair in London on Thursday, The Independent newspaper reported. 

Radakin said, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper: “In the north, they [Ukrainian forces] are holding and fixing Russian forces there and in the south they are making progress between 10 km and 20 km, depending on how you judge it."

He added that Ukraine “continues to hold the initiative, it is pushing Russia back.”Radakin cautioned: “The idea that war is neat and tidy, and you can plan and predict it to the nth degree is nonsense.”

Britain’s military chief has been closely monitoring the war, with communication lines to Ukraine’s top commander Valerii Zaluzhnyi, The Independent reported.  

Ukraine advances near Bakhmut in east, towards Melitopol in south: officials  

On Thursday, Ukrainian forces continued their counteroffensive in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region and around the Russian-held eastern city of Bakhmut, and advanced south of Bakhmut, according to reports cited by the Institute for the Study of War. 

According to Ukraine’s General Staff, Ukrainian forces achieved partial successes near Bakhmut, Klishchiivka (7 km southwest of Bakhmut), Andriivka (10 km southwest of Bakhmut), and Kurdyumivka (13 km southwest of Bakhmut). 

Heavy fighting continued for control over the settlement of Andriivka, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar said on Thursday. 

A day earlier, Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Ilya Yevlash stated that Ukrainian forces had pushed Russian forces out of positions near Minkivka (15 km northwest of Bakhmut) and Dubovo-Vasylivka (6 km northwest of Bakhmut), the ISW reported.

In addition, the Ukrainian General Staff and Malyar on Thursday stated that Ukrainian forces continued to gradually advance in the Melitopol direction, in the western part of Zaporizhzhia province, the US think tank added. 

Ukraine is seeking to encircle and recapture Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, while its push through Zaporizhzhia in the southeast is intended to reach the port of Melitopol on the Sea of Azov, splitting Russian forces, according to news outlets.

Ukraine’s Zelensky to meet Biden at White House next week

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House next week, The Guardian reported on Friday.

The Ukrainian president will be visiting America for a session of the United Nations General Assembly, according to officials.

Zelensky is also due to visit Capitol Hill as the US Congress debates Biden’s request to provide a further assistance package for Ukraine.

Biden has asked US lawmakers to approve USD 24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion, The Guardian reported.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.

Friday is day 569 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, The Independent, The Guardian, ISW