Ukraine recaptures five MORE villages from Russia near Kherson

Ukraine recaptures five MORE villages from Russia near Kherson as Putin’s forces continue to suffer defeat despite his brutal rocket attacks

  • Ukraine has re-taken five villages from Russia in south of country, military says 
  • Nova Kamianka, Tryfonivka, Novovasylivka, Novohryhorivka and Chervone liberated as Kyiv’s men consolidate frontline following breakthrough last week 
  • Putin’s army continues to suffer battlefield defeats despite rocket bombardment 
  • City of Zaporizhzhia, also in south, was hit overnight but no casualties reported 

Ukraine has recaptured five more villages from Russian forces in the south of the country as Putin’s army continues to suffer defeats on the battlefield. 

Commanders said a cluster of villages – Nova Kamianka, Tryfonivka, Novovasylivka, Novohryhorivka and Chervone – in the Kherson region, had fallen into their hands.

It comes as Ukraine consolidates its new frontline after breaking through Russian defences in the region last week, advancing 12 miles in just a few hours. 

The counter-attack continues despite brutal rocket attacks that Putin and his new top commander – Sergey Surovikin – have unleashed on Ukraine’s cities. 

A Ukrainian soldier sits in a tank in the southern Kherson region where Kyiv’s men have continued to take territory from Russia

A Ukrainian multiple-launch rocket system opens fire on Russian lines amidst a counter-attack in Kherson that is continuing to take ground

Air defence ‘top priority’ for Ukraine, NATO chief says 

Air defence systems are the ‘top priority’ for Ukraine’s allies, the head of NATO has said today.

Jen Stoltenberg, speaking at a summit to discuss military aid to Kyiv, said the focus will be on weapons to protect against Russian rocket attacks.

‘We will address how to ramp up support for Ukraine and the top priority will be more air defence,’ Stoltenberg said.

It comes after Putin unleashed devastating salvoes of missiles earlier this week that killed 19 people, wounded scores, and took out power and water networks. 

More than 100 missiles and dozens of drones attacked virtually every major city in Ukraine over 48 hours between Monday and Tuesday, causing widespread death and destruction to civilians.

At least 19 people died and scores more were hurt in the bombings which took out power and water supplies in major cities such as Lviv.

Kyiv has accused Russia of deliberately targeting civilians in ‘terrorist’ attacks, while Putin insists he is hitting military infrastructure.

The strikes were unleashed in response to an explosion which crippled the Kerch Bridge from occupied Crimea to Russia at the weekend which Putin has blamed on the Ukrainian secret service.

FSB agents on Wednesday said they had arrested eight people – five Russians and three people from Ukraine and Armenia – over the attack.

The FSB accused the ring of smuggling 25 tons of explosives disguised as plastic sheeting used for construction around the Black Sea and into Russia.

They said 22 pallets carrying the explosives went from Odesa, in southern Ukraine, via Ruse in Bulgaria to Yerevan in Armenia, and then across Georgia and into Russia.

The last stop on their two-month journey was Armavir, in southern Russia, before they were shipped to a non-existent company in Simferopol, Crimea, the FSB says.

But as the shipment passed over the Kerch Bridge that links Russia to Crimea on the morning of October 8 it exploded, partially collapsing the road bridge, setting light to a nearby fuel train, killing five people, and infuriating the Kremlin.

Ukrainian officials have lauded the explosion on the bridge, but stopped short of directly claiming responsibility for it.

The FSB alleged suspects were working on orders of Ukraine’s military intelligence to secretly move the explosives into Russia and forge the accompanying documents.

Putin’s missile barrage continued overnight Tuesday though at a lower intensity than previous days, with the Zaporizhzhia region and the city which shares its name peppered with explosives. 

There were no immediate reports of casualties, though officials said that residential buildings had been damaged.

Zaporizhzhia, which sits fairly near the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces, has been repeatedly struck with often deadly attacks in recent weeks. 

It is part of a larger region, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant now in Russian control, that Moscow has said it has annexed in violation of international law.

The city itself remains in Ukrainian hands.

To the south, in a Russian-controlled area of the region, a powerful blast struck the city of Melitopol – sending a car flying into the air, mayor Ivan Fedorov. There was no word on casualties.

Tuesday marked the second straight day when air raid sirens echoed throughout Ukraine, and officials advised residents to conserve energy and stock up on water. 

Ukrainian emergency crews help extinguish a fire after the city of Zaporizhzhia, in southern Ukraine, was hit by artillery fire overnight

A woman weeps after her apartment building was partially destroyed by a Russian rocket  strike on the city of Zaporizhzhia

The strikes knocked out power across the country and pierced the relative calm that had returned to the capital, Kyiv, and many other cities far from the war’s front lines.

‘It brings anger, not fear,’ Kyiv resident Volodymyr Vasylenko, 67, said as crews worked to restore traffic lights and clear debris from the capital’s streets. ‘We already got used to this. And we will keep fighting.’

The leaders of the Group of Seven industrial powers condemned the bombardment and said they would ‘stand firmly with Ukraine for as long as it takes.’ 

Their pledge defied Russian warnings that Western assistance would prolong the war and the pain of Ukraine’s people.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the G-7 leaders during a virtual meeting Russia fired more than 100 missiles and dozens of drones at Ukraine over two days. 

He appealed for ‘more modern and effective’ air defense systems – even though he said Ukraine shot down many of the Russian projectiles.

The Pentagon on Tuesday announced plans to deliver the first two advanced NASAMs anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks. The systems, which Kyiv has long wanted, will provide medium- to long-range defense against missile attacks.

In a phone call with Zelenskyy on Tuesday, President Joe Biden ‘pledged to continue providing Ukraine with the support needed to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems,’ the White House said.

Ukraine’s defense minister tweeted that four German IRIS-T air defense systems had just arrived, saying a ‘new era’ of air defense for Ukraine had begun.

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