VIDEO | Ukrainian forces move south; strategically important village liberated

Ukrainian forces continue to move through the Russian-occupied regions of southeastern Ukraine and have liberated the village of Staromaiorske, writes Reuters.
The counter-offensive is currently mainly focused on the liberation of settlements in the southern direction and on the territories around Bakhmut. Ukrainian officials report slow but steady progress.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has admitted that the Ukrainian attacks have become more intense in recent days but stated that the Russian defense lines have not been broken.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that

Ukraine had sent Western-trained soldiers to at least one axis of counterattack.

Media reports indicate a new phase in the attack.
A video has been published on social networks showing how Ukrainian soldiers celebrate the liberation of Staromaiorske. The video shows a soldier saying: “The 35th brigade and the ‘Ariy’ territorial defense unit have fulfilled their task and liberated the village of Staromaiorske. Glory to Ukraine!”

Chronicle of the liberation of Staromayorsk by soldiers of the 35th Marine Brigade
The operation was carried out on July 27, together with the 7th separate battalion “Arey”. After the last invader left the village, Ukrainian soldiers officially unfurled the Ukrainian flag on…
— Oriannalyla 🇺🇦 (@Lyla_lilas) July 27, 2023

The village is south of a series of small settlements liberated by Ukraine when the counteroffensive began. Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Malyar stated that Ukrainian forces continue to clear the village.
On Thursday, the 27th of July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, including Dnipro and Odesa, where he discussed with local officials the damage caused by Russia to grain warehouses. In the evening video call, the President of Ukraine hardly talked about the situation at the front.
Oleksandr Kovalenko, a Ukrainian military analyst, said that

the next Ukrainian target is Staromlynivka, located about five kilometers from Staromaiorske.

In an interview with the media RBC UA, Kovalenko said that the village is a fortress of the occupiers, which forms the second line of defense.
The Ukrainian advance to the south is aimed at severing the land connection between Crimea, which was annexed in 2014, and the regions occupied during the last year. Despite the successes of Ukrainian forces, Moscow still controls about 20% of Ukraine’s territory.
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