Ukraine pressures counterattack after Russia setback

Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine advanced its counteroffensive after Russia attacked the hometown of the Ukrainian president with a suicide drone on Sunday. take back control A strategic eastern city.

Russia’s loss of Lehman, which it has long used as a transport and logistics hub, is a new blow for the Kremlin as it tries to escalate the war by Illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian flag is already in Lehman,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an evening speech. “More Ukrainian flags have appeared in the Donbass in the past week. There will be more in a week’s time.”

In southern Ukraine, Zelensky’s hometown of Kriverich was attacked by the Russians, and a suicide drone was launched in southern Ukraine, the governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentin Reznichenko, said. A school was attacked early on Sunday and two floors were destroyed.

He said the fire sparked by the drone attack had been put out.

In recent weeks, Russia has begun using Iranian-made suicide drones to attack targets in Ukraine. In southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Air Force said it shot down five Iranian-made drones overnight, while two others passed through air defenses.

Meanwhile, the Russian attack also targeted the city of Zaporozhye, authorities said on Sunday.

Ukraine’s military said on Sunday it had attacked a Russian ammunition depot in Chernihiv in the south of the country, as well as other Russian command posts, ammunition depots and two S-300 anti-aircraft batteries.

Reports of military activity could not be immediately confirmed.

Russia withdrew its troops from Lehman in the east on Saturday after being surrounded by Ukrainian troops, in what the British military said was a “major political setback” for Moscow. The capture of the city paved the way for Ukrainian forces to penetrate further into Russian-occupied territory.

Lehmann has been an important link in ground communications and logistics on the Russian front lines. Lehman is located in the Donetsk region on the border with Luhansk, two regions Russia annexed on Friday after forcing people to carry guns in a referendum.

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed damage to Ukrainian troops in the battle for Lehman, but said the outnumbered Russian troops had retreated to a more favorable position.

In a daily intelligence briefing, the British Ministry of Defence said Lehman was vital because it had “a critical road across the Donets on which Russia has been trying to consolidate its defenses.”

The Britons said they believed the city had been taken over by “understaffed elements” before the Russian withdrawal.

Moscow’s withdrawal from Lehman drew immediate criticism from some Russian officials.

“Further loss of territory in illegally occupied territories will almost certainly lead to an intensification of this public criticism and increased pressure on senior commanders,” the British military briefing said.

Ukrainian forces have recaptured swathes of territory in a counteroffensive that began in September, humiliating and outraging Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the Ukrainian outcome as an orchestrated U.S. effort to destroy Russia, this week Threat of nuclear force intensifies In his harshest, most anti-Western rhetoric to date.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine

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