(Kyiv) The Ukrainian army declared on Friday that it had recaptured the village of Andriïvka, south of the devastated town of Bakhmut on the eastern front, the day after an announcement to this effect from the Deputy Minister of Defense who had was followed by a rapid denial.
“The defense forces had partial success in the Klichchiivka area during offensive operations. During their assault, they liberated Andriïvka, in the Donetsk region,” the Ukrainian general staff communicated in its daily report posted on Facebook.
They also “inflicted significant losses on the enemy in terms of manpower and equipment,” he added.
The recapture of this locality opens the way to “a breakthrough on the right flank of Bakhmout” and is important for the success of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, assured Friday morning the third Ukrainian assault brigade, engaged on the ground and which had denied the capture of Andriïvka the day before.
“Following a lightning operation, the Russian garrison of Andriïvka was surrounded, cut off from the main forces and destroyed,” assured the third brigade on Telegram, claiming to have “liquidated almost all the infantry of the 72e “bridling” Russian as well as several members of his command.
“The fighting continues, our units continue to consolidate their positions,” she added.
Oleksandr Borodin, spokesperson for the brigade, however, affirmed on television that the village had been completely razed by the fighting.
“Andriïvka no longer exists. Let’s say it, it is completely destroyed,” he said, adding that the village is “in such a state” that it is impossible to even plant the Ukrainian flag there.
The village of Andriïvka found itself in the middle of a controversy the day before, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Defense Ganna Maliar having announced its capture before her remarks were contradicted by the third brigade, denouncing a “false and premature”.
The battle for Bakhmout, the longest and deadliest of the war, has been taking place for more than a year. Moscow claimed in May the capture of the city, destroyed by fighting and bombings.
The Ukrainian army has been leading a slow counter-offensive since the beginning of June intended to push back Russian forces in the East and South, but it faces powerful defensive lines made up of trenches, minefields and anti-tank traps.
This operation has so far only allowed the capture of a handful of villages, but the Ukrainian push has intensified in recent weeks, particularly on the southern front with the capture of the village of Robotyné, towards the city of Tokmak, an important logistical point for Russian forces.