(Kyiv) Ukraine finally denied Thursday having captured from Russian forces the village of Andriïvka, south of the devastated town of Bakhmut on the eastern front, after having nevertheless assured to have regained control, on one of the axes of the difficult counter-offensive of the Kyiv troops.
“Andriïvka is ours,” Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Ganna Maliar first indicated on Telegram, before being very quickly contradicted by a Ukrainian assault unit on the ground and modifying her publication.
“The statement regarding the capture of Andriïvka is false and premature. Serious and intense fighting is currently taking place in the areas of Klichtchiïvka and Andriïvka,” the third assault brigade, engaged on the ground, said on Telegram.
“Such statements are harmful, endanger the lives of personnel and harm the execution of combat missions,” she said.
Shortly after, Ganna Maliar modified his first press release, now indicating that in Andriïvka, “the situation is complex and changing”.
In another message published immediately on Telegram, she assured that “there is a breakdown in communication between several sources of information which report directly” from Andriïvka.
“Successes have been recorded in Andriïvka and heavy fighting is currently underway,” she finally indicated.
Regarding Bakhmout, just north of Andriïvka, “on the northern flank, the enemy is trying to regain lost ground. On the southern flank, we are making progress,” she said in her initial message.
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.
On Monday, Ukraine had already claimed “successes” on the southern and eastern fronts.
In the northern part of eastern Ukraine, near Kupiansk, where the Russians are on the offensive, Moscow forces repelled “an attack by a Ukrainian assault group”, the Russian army said Thursday in a statement.