The Ukrainian army announced on Thursday that its air defenses destroyed more than 30 drones overnight during a Russian attack on the Odessa and Mykolaev regions in the south of the country.
The spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Southern Military Command, Natalia Humeniuk, explained that drones were intercepted over coastal areas on the Black Sea as well as in inland areas.
She added on Telegram that Russia doesn’t stop putting pressure and searching for new tactics that is, using major attacks.
She continued, “Tonight, groups of drones were launched… Air defenses worked along almost the entire southern region – in the Odessa and Mykolaev regions, and also to the north – enemy attacks targeted central Ukraine”.
She stressed that the repercussions of the attack are now being clarified, because it was a really major attack… However, the work of the air defenses was very effective… More than 30 drones were destroyed.
Since July, when Moscow withdrew from UN-brokered agreement allowing safe shipment of grain through the Black Sea, Russia has intensified its attacks on Ukraine’s grain export infrastructure in the country’s southern Odessa and Mykolaev regions.
Ukrainian army officials said that its forces repelled strong attacks on Wednesday launched by Russian forces that tried to regain lost positions on the eastern front, while analysts indicated that Ukrainian forces are also making progress on the southern front.
The Ukrainian army began its counter-offensive in June with the aim of regaining territory in the east, and in the past two weeks it announced control of two important villages, Andrievka and Klychevka, near the destroyed city of Bakhmut.
The Ukranian forces are also trying to advance south towards the Sea of Azov to cut the land bridge that Russia established between the Crimean Peninsula, which it annexed, and the positions it controls in the east.
“We continue to repel intense enemy attacks near Klychivka and Andreyevka,” Ilya Yevlash, spokesman for the Ukrainian Eastern Forces Group, told local television.
He added, “The enemy is still storming these sites in the hope of regaining the sites he lost, but he hasn’t succeeded”.
Yevlash said that the last 24 hours witnessed 544 Russian bombing incidents in the region, including seven combat clashes and four air attacks.
President Volodymyr Zelensky briefly referred in a Telegram post to “our progress in the Donetsk sector” in the east, but didn’t provide details.
The Ukrainian General Staff announced air strikes on four places in the region and said that 15 towns and villages were subjected to artillery and mortar attacks.
In its account of the military activity, the Russian Defense Ministry also reported heavy fighting in the area, saying its forces repelled ten attacks by Ukrainian forces near Klychevka and further south near the village of Nevelsky.
Ukrainian officials spoke of gains made in the advance south, with General Oleksandr Tarnavsky, commander of the forces in the south, telling CNN last week that a breakthrough had been achieved, while noting that the progress had been slower than hoped.
Zelensky and other officials said the counterattack would take time and rejected Western criticism that progress was too slow and marred by strategic errors.
Tarnavsky pointed to the village of Verbov, which other officials said Ukrainian forces were preparing to seize.
Ukrainian forces are targeting several other villages during their advance through the Zaporizhia region towards the important town of Tokmak.