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White House: Ukraine's forces make 'notable progress' in Zaporizhzhia Oblast

by Dinara Khalilova September 1, 2023 9:14 PM 3 min read
An artillery unit of the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces firing an L119 British-made howitzer at the Russian infantry on the eastern front, Ukraine, on June 24, 2023. (Sasha Maslov/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Washington has seen "notable progress" in Ukraine's counteroffensive on the southern front line in Zaporizhzhia Oblast over the past 72 hours, the White House said on Sept. 1, Reuters reported.

"And they have achieved some success against that second line of Russian defenses," U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

According to Reuters, Kirby emphasized that it's up to Kyiv to decide how to take advantage of its success.

"That is not to say… that they aren't mindful that they've still got some tough fighting ahead of them as they try to push further south" or that Russia could launch a counterattack, the official said on a conference call.

As counteroffensive presses forward in southeast, ‘every meter costs a life’
Editor’s note: The Kyiv Independent is not disclosing the soldiers interviewed in the story by their full names due to security concerns amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. The article also contains photos that some readers may find disturbing. DONETSK OBLAST – Twenty-nine-year-old assault company com…

On the same day, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told CNN that Ukrainian forces are "not failing" but "moving forward" in their counteroffensive.

Speaking with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Kuleba advised critics of the pace of Ukraine's summer counteroffensive to consider soldiers who make the push happen.

"How does it feel when you come back from your mission, and you take back your phone, open it, and start reading all the smart people saying how slow you are and that you're not doing well enough?" Kuleba said, as cited by CNN.

Zaluzhnyi: Counteroffensive underequipped but advances daily
Ukrainian forces are advancing “at least 500 meters” every day in the counteroffensive despite the lack of crucial hardware like F-16 fighter jets, the Ukrainian armed forces’ commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi said in an interview the Washington Post published on June 30.

"You just lost two of your buddies. You were almost killed. You crawled one kilometer on your belly, demining the field. You sacrificed yourself, taking the damn Russian trench in a fierce fight. And then you read someone saying, 'Oh guys, you're too slow'?"

"Our partners who are helping us, including the United States, understand that things are moving in the right direction. And they understand that there's no tragedy or no kind of slow down," the foreign minister added. "It's just happening because it's tough. It's a tough fight."

Earlier, the Institute for the Study of War wrote that Ukrainian troops continued counteroffensive operations near Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast and western Zaporizhzhia Oblast and had advanced in both sectors of the front.

On Aug. 4, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that the Ukrainian military had penetrated Russia's first line of defense, moving to the "intermediate one" in some areas on the southern front line.

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