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Ukrainian forces have already liberated at least four villages and seven kilometers of land as the long-awaited counteroffensive is ongoing and will "continue to make progress," anonymous Western officials told Sky News.
"Progress is slow because of the minefields and the obstacles which they're coming across, but this is as we'd expect," the officials reportedly said.
"They'll continue to make progress."
On June 12, however, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said Ukraine's Armed Forces had liberated seven settlements in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts over the past week as part of an ongoing counteroffensive.
According to Maliar, the Ukrainian military has advanced 6.5 km and regained 90 square kilometers of land.
According to SkyNews, the Western officials said that while the counteroffensive is still in the early stage, they believe "momentum is with the Ukrainians," adding that it is still too early to say whether the counteroffensive is successful.
"They're on the attack now. So this is much more than probing. These are full-scale movements of armor and heavy equipment into the Russian security zone and going forwards," the officials said, as quoted by the media.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said Ukraine is already gaining ground against Russia, and although the counteroffensive is in its early stages, this shows that military support for Ukraine is vital.
"We need to be prepared that this offensive will be bloody and difficult," Stoltenberg told USA Today on June 12.
"The Russians have had time to build — they're quite heavy defensive lines, and to breach them is a demanding task," he said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on June 10 during a press conference in Kyiv that the counteroffensive was underway.
The long-anticipated counteroffensive is widely regarded as a crucial turning point for Ukraine, as it seeks to regain control of its territory from Russia while also avoiding pressure to make concessions to Russia during negotiations.