Ukrainian troops have recaptured more than 700 square km (270 square miles) of territory in the south and in the eastern Kharkiv region, where they advanced up to 50 km (31 miles) into Russian lines and retaken more than 20 villages, a Ukrainian general said on Thursday.
The comments by Brigadier General Oleksiy Gromov at a briefing were the most detailed public assessment so far of Ukraine’s counter-offensive. Kyiv has so far declined to disclose many details so as not to compromise the operation.
“During defence operations to recapture lost territory in the Kharkiv direction, since the start of the week, Ukraine’s armed forces… have penetrated into enemy’s lines by a depth of up to 50 km,” Gromov said.
He did not say which settlements had been recaptured in Kharkiv region.
“The total amount of territory returned to Ukrainian control in the Kharkiv and Pivdennyi Buh directions stands at over 700 square kilometres,” he said.
Pivdennyi Buh is a river that runs through the southern frontline city of Mykolaiv before discharging in the Black Sea.
He said that Ukrainian troops have advanced up to 3 km (1.8 miles) on the Sloviansk front in the east and recaptured a settlement called Ozerne.
He singled out the role of Turkish-made Bayraktar drones.
“Enemy infantry and motorized artillery units unprotected by air defence systems become easy prey for our Bayraktars, the quantity of which is always increasing, thanks to our volunteers,” he said.