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Defense Ministry: 'Difficult situation' in Ukraine's east as Russia deploys more forces

by Dinara Khalilova June 19, 2023 6:16 PM 1 min read
A Ukrainian tank performs during firing practice amid Russia-Ukraine war on the frontline of Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on March 29, 2023. (Muhammed Enes Yildirim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia has deployed more forces to Ukraine's eastern frontline in its attempt to advance toward Lyman and Kupiansk and seize the initiative, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on June 19.

The situation in the region is "difficult" amid heavy fighting and intensified Russian shelling, but Ukrainian forces "do not allow the enemy to advance," Maliar said on Telegram.

According to the official, Russia hasn't abandoned its plans to seize the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, which is currently "the main offensive direction" of Russian troops.

Therefore, Moscow has concentrated "a significant number" of its troops in Ukraine's east, in particular the airborne assault units, she added.

Earlier the same day, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its intelligence update that Russia had begun relocating its forces from the eastern bank of the Dnipro River to strengthen the Zaporizhzhia and Bakhmut sectors.

On June 15, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said Russian troops were redeployed from the southern sectors to the Bakhmut area.

Ukraine's long-awaited counteroffensive is underway in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts. So far, eight settlements have been confirmed as liberated by Ukrainian forces.

Counteroffensive underway: ‘We overestimated Russians and underestimated ourselves’
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent introduces soldiers interviewed for the story by their first names or callsigns due to security reasons. DONETSK OBLAST – Islam’s mind was empty of thoughts and feelings as he crawled carefully towards the Russian trenches near Siversk, with grenades prepared. “…
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