As Ukraine’s determined counteroffensive to reclaim Russian-occupied territory enters its fourth month, significant advances have been reported in the Bakhmut region. Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar announced that Ukrainian forces achieved notable gains near Klishchiivka, located approximately three miles from the fiercely contested Donetsk Oblast town of Bakhmut.
Verified Progress Near Bakhmut
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) confirmed these developments, stating that Ukrainian forces had “advanced near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast.” Geolocated footage from the weekend provided evidence that Klishchiivka is now under Kyiv’s control. Maliar also disclosed that Ukrainian forces had made strides towards Novoprokopivka, situated south of Robotyne, a settlement in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast that Kyiv had declared as recaptured last week. She further reported that over the past week, Ukrainian troops had successfully liberated approximately 1.15 square miles, contributing to a total of 18 square miles regained in the region since the counteroffensive’s initiation on June 4.
Maliar emphasized the defensive stance of Russian forces in the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson directions while highlighting ongoing Russian shelling of Ukrainian military and civilian targets in the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Mykolaiv regions.
Advancements Toward Melitopol and Crimea
The deputy defense minister also revealed that Ukrainian forces were continuing their advance in the direction of Melitopol, a strategically significant location as part of the “land bridge” along the Sea of Azov leading to occupied Crimea. Russia’s efforts to retake lost positions in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts have proven unsuccessful. In the southern theater of the conflict, Russian forces have sustained significant losses in terms of personnel, weaponry, and equipment. They have been compelled to redeploy units and troops while tapping into reserves to sustain their operations.
The ISW think tank highlighted statements from Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces spokesperson Oleksandr Shtupun, indicating that Ukrainian troops had achieved successes in the Verbove direction, which Ukraine reportedly considers a prime target.
Naval Confrontation in the Black Sea
In the midst of reports detailing Ukrainian gains, Russia announced the destruction of four U.S.-made military boats carrying Ukrainian paratroopers who were heading toward Crimea. The Russian defense ministry revealed that the boats were en route to Cape Tarkhankut before being intercepted and destroyed in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.
Reports of Losses and Air Defense Actions
Denis Pushilin, the acting head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, conveyed that Ukrainian forces had incurred substantial losses in troops and equipment in the Avdeevsky direction within the Donetsk Oblast.
Furthermore, Russia reported the successful downing of two Ukrainian drones overnight—one over the Black Sea near Crimea and the other over the Kursk region—illustrating the ongoing dynamics of the conflict.
As Ukraine’s counteroffensive progresses, the situation remains fluid and challenging. The resilience and dedication of Ukrainian forces in the face of adversity are evident, while Russian attempts to regain control have not yielded the desired results. The developments in the Bakhmut region underscore the determination of Ukraine’s armed forces to reclaim their territory and protect their nation’s sovereignty.