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Zelensky: 'There will be no alternative to our steps for de-occupation.'

by Olena Goncharova June 19, 2023 4:43 AM 1 min read
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President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized in his evening address on June 18 that Russia's primary focus should be on preparing its society for the consequences of destroying its own future.

"Russia will lose the occupied territories. There is no and will be no alternative to our steps for de-occupation," he said. "Our troops are advancing, position by position, step by step, we are moving forward."

Ukraine’s large-scale counteroffensive, anticipated for months, spearheaded by new Western tanks and armored vehicles, has finally begun in mid-June. No longer limited to shaping operations or localized counterattacks, evidence shows the beginning of major Ukrainian offensive pushes to break through fortified Russian lines along several axes, including in Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk Oblasts.

Ukrainian officials such as Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar confirmed that counteroffensive operations are ongoing. Soldiers from the 81st and 57th Brigades have told the Kyiv Independent that Ukrainian forces are on the move, slowly advancing on the Russian forces in Donetsk Oblast.

Russian forces have prepared extensive defenses, especially in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, where they’ve set up multiple lines dozens of kilometers deep. From Kharkiv Oblast through Luhansk Oblast, there’s a strong main line running down south. However, Russian defenses thin out behind Bakhmut, according to satellite maps of the area.

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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