Ukraine’s military has retaken more than 600 settlements from Russian forces in the past month, the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories said, as Moscow continued to strike dozens of towns, killing a number of civilians.
Some 502 settlements have been liberated in the northeast Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces last month penetrated deep into Russian lines and 75 settlements were recaptured in the highly strategic Kherson region, the ministry said. said late October 13.
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The ministry said 43 settlements were released in the Donetsk region and seven in the Lugansk region.
“The area of liberated Ukrainian territories has increased significantly,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
The report could not be independently verified.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said on October 14 that at least nine civilians had been killed and 15 injured in the past 24 hours.
On October 13, Russian missiles and drones targeted dozens of Ukrainian cities for the fourth consecutive day. Most of the victims were in the southern city of Mykolaiv, officials said.
Mykolaiv, a shipbuilding center and port on the southern Buh River, was a frequent target of Russian attacks. Ukraine’s military headquarters said the latest attack involved eight S-300 missiles.
The region around Kyiv was also targeted by the bombardment, repeatedly triggering anti-aircraft sirens. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said Iranian-made drone strikes hit critical infrastructure.
Elsewhere, the UK Ministry of Defense said in its October 14 daily intelligence bulletin that over the past three days pro-Russian forces had made tactical advances towards the center of the town of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region.
Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address on October 13 that “brutal” fighting continued in Bakhmut and that Ukrainian troops were defending Bakhmut with “skillful and heroic actions”.
In the Donbass, the British intelligence bulletin said Russia was continuing its offensive operations and making “very slow” progress.
Four Ukrainian regions under partial Russian occupation – Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya – were seized by Moscow late last month as a counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces made rapid progress in the northeast, east and south. south.
The seizures have been denounced by Kyiv and the West as illegal.
Zelenskiy called on Ukrainians to be particularly careful of possible Russian strikes on October 14, when the country celebrates Ukraine Defenders Day.
“Tomorrow we will certainly celebrate – each in their place – one of our most important days. The Day of Protection, the Day of Defenders of Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said.
He also lambasted the International Committee of the Red Cross, accusing it of inaction in defending the rights of Ukrainian prisoners of war and urged it to undertake a mission to Olenivka – a notorious camp in the east of the country. occupied by Russia where dozens of Ukrainian POWs died in an explosion and fire in July.
“I believe that the International Committee of the Red Cross is not a club with privileges where you get a salary and enjoy life,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
“The Red Cross has obligations, above all of a moral nature. The mandate of the Red Cross must be fulfilled. We must do immediately what makes perfect sense for the Red Cross.”
The Prosecutor General’s Office in Kyiv said on October 14 that 423 Ukrainian children had been killed and 810 injured since the start of the unprovoked invasion of Russia.
Zelenskiy told international representatives at the Council of Europe on October 13 that Ukraine must protect its skies.
“If this is done, it will be a fundamental step towards ending all war in the near future,” Zelenskiy said.
Responding to calls from Zelenskiy, the British government announced that it would provide missiles for NASAM’s advanced anti-aircraft systems that the Pentagon plans to send to Ukraine in the coming weeks.
Britain is also sending hundreds of aerial drones for intelligence gathering and logistical support, as well as 18 howitzers.
Other NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels this week have pledged to deliver systems that offer medium- and long-range defense against missile attacks.
Meanwhile, evacuees from Kherson were due to start arriving in Russia on October 14 after a Moscow-based official suggested residents leave for safety, a sign Ukrainian forces are steadily advancing in the area Moscow claims to have seized. .
“We suggested that all residents of the Kherson region, if they wish, to protect themselves from the consequences of missile strikes … go to other regions,” Vladimir Saldo said on Telegram.
With reporting from Reuters, AP and AFP