Heavy fighting in the east – Ukraine under pressure


Lerato Khumalo

Kiev reports heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine. Moscow sees itself on the advance. Ukrainian President Zelensky is therefore focusing on the situation in the Black Sea.

According to the military leadership in Kiev, heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine continues. “The situation was hottest today in the Pokrovsk area, but the enemy was also active in the direction of Lyman and Kurachowe”the Ukrainian General Staff said in its evening situation report. All three cities mentioned are located in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk. During the course of the day, 123 battles took place.

41 of these attacks were reported from the Pokrovsk area alone. At Lyman and Kurachowe, there were 19 and 17 attacks respectively. While, according to the General Staff, 29 attacks at Pokrovsk have now been repelled, 12 battles are still ongoing. The defenders are doing everything they can to stabilize the situation and prevent the enemy from advancing deep into Ukrainian territory, it was said.

Ukraine has been defending itself against the Russian war of aggression for more than two years.

The Russian Defense Ministry had reported the capture of the village of Sokil earlier that day. Army Group Center managed to take the village and improve its tactical position through active action, the Defense Ministry in Moscow announced. The Ukrainian side did not initially comment on this. The warring parties’ reports often cannot be independently verified.

However, the portal, which is close to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, “Deep State” At the end of June, the small area directly next to the much larger and long-contested town of Ocheretyne was marked as under Russian control. Sokil, which had a few dozen inhabitants in a census 20 years ago, is located in the Pokrovsk district. Pokrovsk is considered one of the possible targets of the Russian advance in the area.

Sokil no longer appears in the General Staff’s situation report, but the town of Prohres, located to the west, does. According to the Ukrainian military, more than 180 Russian soldiers were killed in the Pokrovsk area. In addition, several Russian military vehicles were destroyed. These figures cannot be independently verified either.

The front section near Pokrovsk is considered to be relatively vulnerable. After Russian troops were able to capture the fortress of Avdiivka at the beginning of the year, they have been slowly advancing for months. Ukraine has not yet managed to finally stop the advance and stabilize the defense lines.

The Russian armed forces have once again attacked eastern Ukraine during the night with so-called kamikaze drones. The air defense in Kharkiv and Sumy reported that the Shahed drones had flown in in several waves. The Ukrainian military initially gave no information about the effects of the attacks.

Ukraine wants to push back Russian influence in the western part of the Black Sea. His country will develop a new national maritime strategy to this end, announced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his daily video address. “We clearly understand that the war has changed the balance of power in our Black Sea region and the Russian fleet will never again dominate these waters”Zelenskyj was optimistic. Ukraine will pursue its own national interests at sea and those of its partners and protect transport routes, he said.

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Ukraine wants to push back Russia’s fleet (Source: Ulf Mauder/dpa/dpa-bilder)

Russia had already taken possession of a large part of the Ukrainian fleet when it annexed Crimea in 2014. Further ships were lost to Kiev shortly after the start of the large-scale Russian invasion in 2022 with the capture of the port city of Berdyansk in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhia. The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy, the Hetman Sahaidachnyj, sank in Mykolaiv.

Even though the Ukrainian Navy does not currently have any large warships, Kiev has succeeded in driving the Russian Black Sea Fleet out of the western part of the Black Sea. This has also enabled maritime trade via Odessa to be at least partially revived. The Ukrainian Navy is also set to be upgraded in the near future with supplies from Western partners.

Chinese soldiers landed in Belarus for military maneuvers

Meanwhile, according to official information, Chinese soldiers have arrived in Belarus (formerly Belarus) for a joint anti-terror exercise. The maneuver will be held from July 8 to 19, the Defense Ministry in Minsk announced on its Telegram channel.