(Moscow) The Russian army claimed on Saturday that it had not been “dislodged” from the village of Andriïvka in Ukraine, south of the devastated town of Bakhmut on the eastern front, contradicting an announcement made the day before by the general staff Ukrainian.
“In the Donetsk sector, the enemy (…) continued to carry out assault operations (…), trying in vain to dislodge Russian troops from the localities of Klichtchiïvka and Andriïvka”, indicated the Russian Ministry of Defense in its daily bulletin.
However, on Friday, the Ukrainian army said it had “liberated Andriïvka, in the Donetsk region”.
According to this source, Kyiv’s troops had inflicted, during “offensive operations”, “significant losses on the enemy in terms of manpower and equipment”.
The Russian denial sows a little more confusion about the real situation in this very small village, populated by around fifty inhabitants before the war, after Kyiv announced its capture this week, then denied it, before finally confirm it, on Friday.
On Ukrainian television, Oleksandr Borodin, spokesperson for a brigade engaged in the fighting there, told him on Friday that Andriïvka was “completely destroyed” by the hostilities. “Andriïvka no longer exists,” he insisted.
In a video published on Saturday by his brigade on Telegram and claiming to present the capture of Andriïvka by the Ukrainian army, we see soldiers from Kyiv gradually advancing in the open in a hellish setting, between charred trees, ruined houses and smoke blinding.
The fierce and bloody battle for Bakhmout, just north of this small town, has been taking place for more than a year. Moscow claimed in May the capture of the city, largely 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.