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Ukraine war latest: Ukraine liberates at least 3 settlements in Donetsk Oblast

by Alexander Khrebet June 12, 2023 12:21 AM 5 min read
Ukrainian servicemen drive a tank on a road near the frontline in Donetsk Oblast on June 5. (AFP via Getty Images)
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Key developments on June 11:

  • Ukraine liberates 3 villages, makes progress in Donetsk Oblast
  • Russian troops attack evacuation boat, killing 3, injuring 23 in Kherson Oblast
  • Water level drops in Kherson Oblast after Kakhovka Dam disaster
  • Russian forces blow smaller dam in Donetsk Oblast
  • Ukraine returns 95 prisoners of war from Russian captivity

As the counteroffensive continues, Ukrainian forces have reported the liberation of three settlements in eastern Donetsk Oblast.

The military said the villages of Blahodatne, Neskuchne, and Makarivka were liberated, while Ukrainian forces also continued to storm the Russian position near the Russian-occupied cities of Donetsk and Bakhmut.

The 7th Motorized Infantry Battalion of Ukraine's 129th Territorial Defense Brigade reported on June 11 that they liberated the village of Neskuchne on June 10.

The announcement comes the same day the 68th separate Jaeger brigade reported on June 11 liberating the neighboring Blahodatne village and a day after President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces was already ongoing.

In addition, the Deputy Defense Minister reported that the Ukrainian forces liberated the village of Makarivka.

All three liberated settlements are located just south of Velyka Novosilka, alongside the Mokri Yaly River.

Valeriy Shershen, the military spokesperson, said on June 11 that the Russian forces blew up a small dam on the Mokri Yaly River, causing flooding on both banks in an attempt to slow down the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

"This (the dam explosion and flooding) does not affect the counteroffensive actions," the spokesperson told Ukrainska Pravda media outlet, adding that the Ukrainian forces are now moving towards the village of Urozhaine, down the Mokri Yaly River.

In addition, Deputy Defense Minister Maliar also reported that the Ukrainian forces have advanced by 250 meters near the Berkhove Reservoir area near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast, while on the southern front, the army advanced in two directions from 300 to 1,500 meters.

The General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces also reported on June 11 that the 59th Motorized Brigade reclaimed a Russian position near the front-line town of Avdiivka in Donetsk Oblast.

The industrial city of Avdiivka, located five kilometers north of Russian-occupied Donetsk, has been a target of Russian attacks since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine.

"(We) liberated Kherson, we'll liberate Donetsk," the 59th brigade said.

Donetsk, the major city in Donbas, has been under Russian occupation since 2014, when Russia first invaded Ukraine.

On Ukraine’s southern front line, tension reigns before decisive counteroffensive
Editor’s note: As per the regulations of the unit, soldiers interviewed for this article, many of whom have relatives remaining in Russian-occupied territory, are identified by first name and/or callsign only. SOUTHEASTERN UKRAINE – After months of seeing Russia’s war against Ukraine through the dr…

Russia attacks evacuees

Russian troops have attacked an evacuation boat in a flooded area in Kherson Oblast, killing three and injuring 23 people, the Prosecutor General's Office reported on June 11.

The number of casualties is being updated, according to the report.

The deliberate killing of civilians at any time and in any place breaches the Geneva Conventions and constitutes a war crime.

The prosecutors opened an investigation into violations of the laws and customs of war.

According to Governor Oleksandr Prokudin, the people were being evacuated from the Russian-occupied east bank to the Ukrainian-controlled side of the Dnipro River when the attack occurred.

The governor earlier said a 74-year-old man was killed while covering a woman with his body as Russian forces opened fire, shooting him in the back.

Dozens of settlements on both sides of the Dnipro River are flooded after the June 6 Kakhovka Dam explosion.

Ukraine accuses Russian forces of deliberately destroying the Kakhovka Dam, resulting in extensive flooding of numerous settlements along the banks of the Dnipro River.

Intercepted communications between Russian soldiers on June 9 allegedly implicate Moscow's involvement.

Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko, who is responsible for the evacuation of the civilians and animals from the flooded areas, said on June 11 that 2,718 people had been evacuated from Kherson Oblast.

Five people were reported dead, and 35 are still considered missing, including seven children, the minister said.

In Kherson Oblast, 46 settlements are still flooded, including 32 on the Ukrainian-controlled west bank and 14 on the Russian-occupied east bank.

In neighboring Mykolaiv Oblast, 31 settlements were flooded, while one person was reported dead due to flooding.

The rescuers evacuated 982 people from the region, according to the report.

The total number of casualties isn't known in the east bank, which Russian forces are currently occupying.

Meanwhile, the total flooded area in Kherson Oblast after the Kakhovka Dam disaster has nearly halved, decreasing from 139 to 77.8 square kilometers, the regional governor reported on June 11.

The average water level has dropped to 4 meters, according to the report.

On June 10, the water receded from three villages - Mykolaivka, Lvove, and Olhivka, the Kherson Oblast Military Administration reported on June 11.

The roads between the villages are gradually drying up, but not all of them are usable yet, according to the report.

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 11 – Russia’s destruction of Ukrainian dam, and catastrophic flood it caused
Episode #11 of our weekly video podcast “This Week in Ukraine” is dedicated to Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s Kakhovka dam, and the catastrophic flood it caused. Host Anastasiia Lapatina is joined by the Kyiv Independent reporter Igor Kossov. Listen to the audio version of the podcast on Apple,…

POWs return home

President's Office Head Andriy Yermak reported on June 11 that 95 Ukrainian prisoners of war had returned home from Russian captivity as part of another prisoner swap.

Defenders of Mariupol, Chornobyl, Snake Island, and Bakhmut, including officers from the ranks of the Armed Forces, the National Guard, and the State Border Guard Service, are among the returned POWs.

Some of them were wounded in Russian captivity, according to the report.

Ukraine has managed to return over 2,500 Ukrainian POWs.

The recent POWs swap on May 25 brought home 106 Ukrainian POWs from Russian captivity.

"All our people will be returned home. Working on it further," Yermak said on June 11.

One year on, Kherson activist kidnapped by Russian troops remains in captivity
On the morning of May 13, Tetiana Horobtsova was busy in the kitchen at her home in then-occupied Kherson when she heard her daughter saying, “Mom, they’ve come for me.” She left the kitchen to find her daughter – 37-year-old IT specialist Iryna Horobtsova – standing on the balcony, looking pale
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