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Key developments on July 27:
- Ukrainian forces advance south of Bakhmut, and reportedly ramp up counteroffensive southeast
- In southeast, Staromaiorske village is liberated
- Ukraine's parliament extends martial law, mobilization
- Russia strikes Kharkiv Oblast, killing 1, injuring 4
Ukrainian forces have liberated Staromaiorske village in Donetsk Oblast, according to the footage of Ukraine’s 35th Marine Brigade and Territorial Defense Forces, published by President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 27.
The video published by Zelensky shows the troops holding the Ukrainian unit flag inside the partially destroyed building.
Staromaiorske, which sits on the Mokri Yaly River, is located near the administrative border with Zaporizhzhia Oblast, a few kilometers south of the town of Velyka Novosilka. Two days ago, Ukrainian forces reported winning over the positions close to Staromaiorske.
Staromaiorske lies in the Berdiansk direction, one of the three sectors where Ukrainian forces are conducting its summer counteroffensive.
During the initial phase of the counteroffensive, launched in early June, Ukrainian forces also liberated several settlements alongside the Mokri Yaly River.
Ukrainian forces have already reclaimed around half of the territories Russia occupied since the start of the full-scale invasion in late February last year, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN on July 23.
The bulk of the Ukrainian forces committed to the counteroffensive has been deployed southeast, two unnamed U.S. officials told CNN on July 27.
According to the report, the counteroffensive has successfully penetrated Russian defensive lines in the southeast. And the reserve units have been swiftly deployed to capitalize on this opportunity.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian General Staff reported in its evening update on July 27 that Ukrainian forces are being entrenched in their new position southeast, in the Melitopol and Berdiansk directions, following the counteroffensive gains.
The General Staff hasn’t mentioned the deployment of additional troops to the southern front line.
The New York Times reported on July 26 that Ukraine would deploy thousands of previously reserved Western-trained reinforcements, aiming to cut off the land bridge to the occupied Crimea or advance sufficiently to bring the peninsula within artillery range, according to the report.
On the eastern front, Ukrainian forces are gradually advancing south of Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, repelling Russian attacks north of the city, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar reported on July 27.
Severe fighting is ongoing near Klischiivka, Kurdiumivka, and Andriivka in Donetsk Oblast.
Maliar also said that the Ukrainian forces repelled the Russian offensive in the Kupiansk sector, aimed to seize advantageous elevated positions in the flat terrain.
Colonel Mykola Urshalovych, the acting chairman of the Planning Department at the National Guard headquarters, reported on July 27 that the Russian commanders are forcing their troops to attack “tactically unfavorable areas” in the Kupiansk sector.
Ukrainian forces also repelled Russian attacks in the Lyman, Adviivka, and Marinka sectors, according to the General Staff.
Ukrainian forces are driving the counteroffensive in the eastern Donetsk and southern Zaporizhzhia oblasts, operating on multiple fronts. They have achieved some partial gains since starting in early June, thus slower than expected.
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on July 26 that Ukrainian forces are advancing and the situation is "not a stalemate.”
Ukraine extends martial law
The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has voted to extend martial law and mobilization for another 90 days, lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak reported on July 27.
This is the eighth time since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion that the Verkhovna Rada has voted to extend martial law.
The martial law will continue till Nov. 15 and is likely to be extended after that.
President Volodymyr Zelensky first declared martial law on Feb. 24, 2022, the day Russia launched the full-scale invasion, attacking Ukraine from north, east, and south.
Under martial law, Ukrainian men aged 18–60 are restricted from leaving the country due to potential military service call-up. Exceptions are made for men with certain health conditions. Temporary exceptions can be granted to men who need to travel for work and family reasons, on a case by case basis.
Curfews were also imposed throughout the country at the start of the invasion under martial law but have lessened in areas where the situation is more stable.
Russian forces struck Kivsharivka south of Kupiansk in Kharkiv Oblast with a KAB-250 guided bomb, killing an elderly woman, and injuring four other civilians, Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported on July 27.
The attack destroyed part of a five-story residential building and damaged a nine-story building, according to the report.
Kharkiv Oblast suffers regular Russian shelling and airstrikes on a daily basis due to its proximity to the Russian border and the Russian-occupied Luhansk Oblast.
Russian forces also attacked the Tiahinka community in southern Kherson Oblast with artillery, injuring a 57-year-old man at his home on July 27, according to the regional prosecutor’s office.
Kherson Oblast Military Administration reported on July 27 that the Russian shelling hit Odradokamianka village on the west bank of the Dnipro River.
Russian forces also struck Zaporizhzhia on the evening of July 27, Governor Yurii Malashko reported.
The rescue teams are on the site of the attack.
No casualties were reported.
Meanwhile, the rescuers found a body under the rubble of a building in Odesa the Russian missile hit on July 23, the city council reported on July 27.
The Russian overnight July 23 attack with 19 missiles against Odesa's historic center killed two and injured 22 civilians. The attack also damaged 25 historic buildings, including the historic Transfiguration Cathedral.
UNESCO, the UN culture agency, condemned the Russian attacks against cultural heritage. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed it targeted "facilities where terrorist acts against Russia were being prepared."