Russia Forces Claim ‘Advanced Significantly’ in South Ukraine

Russian forces in southern Ukraine have “advanced considerably” around the village of Novopokrovka in the Zaporizhzhia region, Moscow’s occupational authorities said Tuesday.

Moscow’s offensive has dragged on for another winter since the start of the military operation in February 2022, but the front has barely moved in eastern and southern Ukraine this winter.

“Our units have advanced significantly forward northeast of Novopokrovka,” the Moscow-installed head of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia region, Yevgeny Balitsky, said on Telegram.

Novopokrovka lies some 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Robotyne — which Kyiv said it recaptured in the summer but has since struggled to hold on to.

Balitsky said Russian forces are “not only holding the line but are gradually moving forward.”

Kyiv’s army Tuesday reported Russian attacks all along the frontline, including in the south.

“In the Zaporizhzhia area, the defence forces repelled three enemy attacks in the areas north of Pryutne and west of Novopokrovka of the Zaporizhzhia region,” it said in its daily report.

The gains would further put strain on Ukraine’s control of Robotyne, with Russian forces controlling territory to the west, south, and east of the village.

Kyiv’s recapture of Robotyne, a tiny southern village, in August was touted as a success of its counter-offensive. The Ukrainian push to regain territory lost to Moscow has since been slower than expected.

Russia has controlled large swathes of the Zaporizhzhia region since the start of its offensive launched last year.

But the main regional centre of Zaporizhzhia remains under Ukrainian control.

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