UKRAINE: Amid escalating tensions in Ukraine’s southern and eastern regions, Ukrainian forces have initiated counteroffensive operations, engaging in advances and launching long-range attacks on Russian targets. Reports suggest that Ukrainian troops have made progress and carried out long-range attacks near Bakhmut and Zaporizhzhia.
Both parties involved in the conflict are presenting contrasting narratives, with Russia claiming to repel attacks while Ukraine asserts territorial gains. A drone crash near Strelkovk, as reported by the governor of Russia’s Kaluga region, further signifies the intensifying situation. Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the commencement of Ukraine’s offensive but cited difficulties and casualties faced by Ukrainian forces in their attempts to advance.
President Zelensky expressed appreciation for President Putin’s comments during a speech in Kyiv, emphasizing the importance of Russia realizing that their military endeavors have a limited timeframe and highlighting the positive mindset of Ukraine’s military leaders.
In a show of support, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau has pledged $500 million in military assistance to the country, with Canada also expressing its favor for Ukraine’s eventual membership in NATO “as soon as circumstances permit.” The topic will be deliberated at the upcoming summit in Vilnius, scheduled for July.
The battle has intensified in the southern Zaporizhzhia area, where Ukrainian forces are striving to breach the occupied territory that serves as a corridor between Russia and Crimea.
However, the recent destruction of the Nova Khakovka dam and subsequent flooding in the southern part of the country has impacted an area of 230 square miles (596 square kilometers) on both sides of the Dnipro River. This unfortunate development may impede Ukraine’s progress in the region.
On Saturday, around 3,000 individuals were evacuated from the affected areas in Kherson and Mykolaiv. Although water levels have receded by 27 cm, as reported by Oleksandr Prokudin, the regional administrator for Kherson, more than 4,000 residential structures remain submerged, and over 30 communities on the right bank of the river remain inundated.
Accusations have been exchanged between Russia and Ukraine regarding the destruction of the dam. It is suspected that Russian forces deliberately sabotaged the dam to impede Ukrainian troops from crossing the river as part of their counteroffensive strategy.