Russia advancing on all fronts in Ukraine: defence minister

Russia advancing on all fronts in Ukraine: defence minister

MOSCOW (AFP): Russia on Friday said its troops were progressing in all areas of the Ukrainian front, despite observers seeing little movement more a year and a half after Moscow launched a full-scale assault on Ukraine.

“Our servicemen are acting competently and decisively, occupying a more favourable position and expanding their zones of control in all directions,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said, as his troops intensify assaults on the eastern front.

Despite the frontlines having barely shifted in 2023, fighting has remained intense, with the nearly encircled industrial town of Avdiivka the latest major flashpoint.

Russia launched a renewed bid to capture the war-battered town in October, and analysts suggest Moscow’s forces have made incremental gains, though at an enormous human cost.

“Russian troops are effectively and firmly inflicting fire damage on the Ukrainian armed forces, significantly reducing their combat capabilities,” Shoigu said.

His ministry announced Wednesday it had taken control of Khromove, a small village on the outskirts of Bakhmut in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region.

Ukraine has said Russian troops had “considerably increased” their operations in the east, but that its forces were holding on.

Kyiv launched a counteroffensive in June after stocking up on Western weapons.

But it is contending with well-entrenched Russian positions and has made only modest progress.

Two weeks ago it said it pushed Russian forces back a few kilometres from the banks of Dnipro river, which if confirmed would be the first meaningful advance in the counteroffensive.