During his visit to the liberated city of Izyum, Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced further advances of the Ukrainian army. “We are only moving in one direction – forward and towards victory,” said the 44-year-old leader. Photos showed him in Izyum in the Kharkiv region with the Ukrainian army. Izyum was only recaptured last week as part of a Ukrainian counter-offensive. The important transport hub is considered the gateway to the industrial district of Donbass and had more than 40,000 inhabitants before the war.
The Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych had previously announced an offensive in the eastern province of Luhansk. “There is an attack on Lyman now, and there could be a push on Siversk,” Arestovych said in a video posted on YouTube, referring to the two cities. He is assuming a bitter battle for the city of Svatowo, since he believes Russia has stationed supply depots there. “And that’s what they fear most – that we’ll take Lyman and then advance towards Lysychansk and Sievarodonetsk. Then they would be cut off from Swatowo.”
Ukraine, meanwhile, maintains full control over more than 4,000 square kilometers of territory retaken from Russian forces. This roughly corresponds to the size of Burgenland. The country is also in the process of stabilizing its control over another 4,000 square kilometers, says Selenskyj already on Tuesday in his daily video address.
However, Ukrainian officials point out that it is important to distinguish between taking territory and ensuring the complete security of that territory.
Denis Puschilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, explains in a video contribution that Lyman is still in their hands. “The situation has stabilized. The enemy, of course, is trying to advance in small groups, but the (Russian-led) Allied forces are completely repulsing them.”