Ukrainian military commander reveals the latest developments in the front with US army Joint Chiefs of Staff

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The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valery Zaluzhny, said on Monday, that the forces are creating conditions for gradual progress and are seizing the initiative on the battlefield.

He added in a statement on Telegram that the Ukrainian defense forces are steadfast and thwarted Russia’s attempts to launch a counterattack and divert the attention of Ukrainian forces from other areas of the front.

“Heavy fighting is still going on, while Ukrainian forces continue to gradually create the conditions for an advance… We are taking the lead,” Zaluzhny said after a phone call with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.

Ukraine launched a counterattack at the beginning of the summer in an attempt to regain vast swathes of territory that Russia occupied in the south and east of the country.

The United States and other Western allies have sent weapons to Ukraine and trained Ukrainian soldiers to help Kiev in its counteroffensive.

Ukraine has so far recovered several villages in the south and some land around the destroyed city of Bakhmut in the east.

Kiev hasn’t yet embarked on any serious attempt to break through the fortified Russian defense lines.

Ukrainian officials shrug off criticism that they are advancing slowly, saying they are trying to avoid heavy casualties in their assault on fortified Russian lines riddled with landmines.

Moscow says the Ukrainian counterattack has failed.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that Russia is using all its resources to stop Kiev’s advance, noting that Ukrainian forces continue to move towards the southern cities of Melitopol and Berdyansk on the Sea of ​​Azov.

Zaluzhny said the Ukrainian defensive lines are strong.

“The enemy is launching strong attacks in some directions, but they are not achieving any success,” he added.

“It’s specifically about their attempts to divert the attention of Ukrainian forces from certain areas of the front”.

Maliar said Russia had intensified its bombing in the eastern regions last week.

On the other hand, Andrei Yermak, director of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said on Monday, that two people were killed in two missile attacks launched by Russia, which hit a residential building in the city of Pokrovsk, Donetsk region, in eastern Ukraine.

“So far, it’s known that two people have been killed, a woman and a man… Ambulances transported four injured people, and rescuers and paramedics are still working”.

On Monday, at least five people killed and 31 others injured when two Russian missiles hit a residential building in the eastern city of Pokrovsk, according to Ukrainian officials.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia had bombed an ordinary apartment building, releasing footage of the five-storey Soviet-style building, with the last floor destroyed.

Ukraine announced that rescue operations were still underway.

Pokrovsk is located about 70 km northwest of the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk, about 50 km from the front line.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko announced, via Telegram, that five people were killed, and in a later post, he announced that the death toll rose to 31, after he had previously announced that 18 people had been wounded as a result of two strikes on a residential building in Pokrovsk, explaining that the first strike resulted in two deaths. Four civilians were killed before an official of the emergency services was killed in the second strike.

Zelensky had previously indicated that there might be casualties from the strike, and had released a video showing people clearing rubble.

The video showed civilians helping people lying on the ground in front of a building and a car covered in rubble.

The Ukrainian governor of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Kirilenko, said the strikes damaged two residential buildings, a hotel, food facilities, shops and administrative buildings.

He warned of the danger of renewed attacks and urged residents to take cover.

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